How your visit to Wekiva Island helps save Florida’s birds of prey

Posted by Lauren Sedam | February 20, 2020

Many of our guests at Wekiva Island know us as a great place to relax with a glass of wine or beer and a beautiful backdrop. Others know us for some family fun canoeing or kayaking down the river or splashing near the shore. Maybe they have even rented a cabana for a day of fun and memories with family and friends.

But at Wekiva Island, our dedication to the Wekiva River goes way beyond fun and adventure. What stands at our core and completes our mission is sustainability.

When Bill and Mary Weinaug bought the property that is now Wekiva Island more than 11 years ago, it was after they had already fallen in love with the river and explored it for hours themselves. They brought a vision to protect the place and the environment. Some of the ways we do that to this day are:

  • Solar trees and solar arrays
  • A rainwater collection cistern
  • Recycling throughout the property
  • Compostable cups made from corn
  • Focus on local landscaping and reused materials

Guests might also notice ample educational signage around our property, including on one of our riverside cabanas.

This is the Audubon Cabana. The proceeds from this cabana go directly to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey located in Maitland, Florida. Why?

The reason is two-fold. First, we want to build a connection between our guests and this organization, and we want our guests to know their money is making a difference.

Second, we are incredibly passionate about the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, and we know their mission goes hand-in-hand with our own.

The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey helps care for and rehabilitate birds of prey that are sick or injured and release them back into the wild. They also fight to protect their habitats. We’ve partnered with them for years, and Mary has even had the opportunity to release of a number of birds back into the wild, including a gorgeous eagle.

These birds of prey are a huge part of a healthy ecosystem. At Wekiva Island, we believe it is our responsibility to educate locals and travelers on the importance of keeping the Wekiva River clean. Our owner Bill believes, “We have a huge battle to try and save the river. If the birds leave the Wekiva, we’ll know we’ve lost.”

Earlier this month, the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey awarded us the Partners in Conservation Award for 2020. We are beyond honored to accept this award and to continue to work with this organization for years to come.

To learn more about our mission and Birds of Prey, check out the video below.