Saving Our Avian Resources, SOAR is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1999 dedicated to saving our avian resources through raptor rehabilitation, education, and research. SOAR maintains all necessary US Fish & Wildlife Service and Iowa DNR permits to provide the rehabilitation and education.
- Establish a regional raptor rehabilitation facility to serve western Iowa.
- Use personal connections with individual, wild animals to bring attention to important natural resource conservation projects and issues.
- Conserve habitat, conduct needed research, and provide educational opportunities.
Does SOAR allow visitors?
SOAR’s mission is three-fold, raptor rehabilitation, raptor education, and raptor research. The facilities of SOAR are designed for the safe and quiet rehabilitation of our feathered patients, i.e. a birdie ‘hospital,’ and are not suitable for visits. In fact the federal rehabilitation permit SOAR operates under requires that these birds are not on display and we limit human contact and disturbance for the patients’ well-being. We thank you for your interest and encourage you to browse the SOAR website where you can “meet our staff” (see below), see pictures of the facilities, check in on recent admits, find a listing of public events where SOAR volunteers and educational ambassadors are scheduled, and more.
As time permits, we are planning on creating a virtual video tour of the facilities.
SOAR celebrated 15th Anniversary
Thank you to all who attended or wanted to attend (and were there in spirit)! We had folks attending from out-of-state — Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. It was great to connect with old friends and make new friends.
SOAR featured on IPTV Iowa Outdoors Episode #305
Iowa Public Television videographer Chris Gourley spent time in the field and at SOAR filming for this segment… Click here to see the segment of the show about SOAR.
Board of Directors
SOAR is managed by a Board of Directors. SOAR is funded through grants, gifts, donations of supplies and in-kind services, and educational program fees. The current of board of directors:
Chair, Kathy Hodges
Vice-Chair, Tom Holcomb, DVM
Treasurer / Secretary, Rosemary Partridge
Meet Our “Staff”
SOAR is able to do what it does because of the dedication of many people that volunteer their time or provide their services at a discount.
Kay Neumann, Executive Director
Kay is a flurry of activity! She provides the daily care, monitoring, and rehabilitation needs of the patients and care and feeding of the education birds, provides programming to school and adult groups, plus keeping the freezer stocked with food, and doing her least favorite activity — record-keeping. She makes time to oversee the education and training of high school and college interns as these are our future biologists, rehabilitators, conservation managers, and environmental educators.
Kay has an M.S. in Wildlife Biology and a B.A. in Biology. She has been working in the fields of environmental education, wildlife research, wildlife rehabilitation, and natural resources restoration for more than 25 years. Kay is a master-class rehabilitator and master-class falconer and celebrated her 30th hunting season in 2014.
Kay received the 2014 Ada Hayden Conservation Education Award from the Iowa Association of Naturalists / Iowa Conservation Education Coalition for outstanding efforts for education on preservation, land management, or natural resource conservation.
If you are interested in falconry or becoming a falconer, please visit these links for information as Kay is not able to take on an apprentice at this time:
If you are interested in wildlife rehabilitation, please visit these links for information as Kay is not able to take on additional apprentices at this time.
- National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association
- Iowa Department of Natural Resources Permits page, see specifically wildlife rehabilitation application with Iowa Code
SOAR could not provide quality care to patients and education birds without the help of these veterinarians, their clinics, and support staff that provide consultation, x-rays, medications, and surgery.
Linette Bernard, Communications Director
Linette works remotely from north-central Iowa and maintains the website and Facebook page, the patient and supporter / donor databases, monitors email communication, develops printed materials as needed, helps with educational programming, and transports patients as needed. Linette and Kay have worked together, on and off, since 1993. Linette had her first education red-tailed hawk in 1993.
Linette has a B.A. in outdoor recreation and a M.A. in Youth and Human Services Agency Administration. She has been working in the fields of environmental education, fundraising, youth development, non-profit management, and program quality-assurance.
Terrie Hoefer, Education Director
Terrie works remotely from central Iowa and coordinates the education efforts of SOAR including scheduling programs across the state, as well as presenting and developing programs and workshops that help meet the mission of SOAR. Terrie is also in charge of the SOAR store and ships online orders and coordinates gift shop sales at events. Gift shop sales help support the mission of SOAR and buy food and medical supplies for patients and our education ambassadors. Terrie (and her husband) also help transport patients.
Terrie has been a SOAR volunteer for ten years plus and was the first webmaster. She has a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology and has worked as an environmental educator presenting programs to children, school teachers, and the general public which is her passion. Her work with education birds dates back to 1988.
These dedicated volunteers help with programming as their work schedules allow, primarily on weekends when SOAR has multiple requests or day-long events.
Current interns include Trevor and Caitlin. While Trevor is at DMACC and Caitlin is in high school, they will help on weekends and breaks as their school work allows! They help out with chores, event prep, and maintenance. Savanna is also back at college at Buena Vista University and will help on weekends as able.
Transporters / Rescuers
Thanks to our “go to” rescue and transport crew of Stacey, Ron H., Matt H., Dan T., Shelley, Kim, Dan, Jenni, Austin, Deb, Marla, Ron A., Cassie, Alex, Tyler, and volunteers from Wildlife Lodge and Clinic for helping to transport or provide overnight care for injured birds to SOAR. County Conservation Board and Iowa DNR staff help, as able, with rescuing and transporting injured birds.
Vic, Doug, and Janet have provided the bulk of the care and feeding of the osprey while in the hack tower at Whiterock Conservancy from 2006-2011, plus Vic helped with osprey care at Swan Lake State Park in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
In addition to our educators above, Cynthia, Vic, Tyler, Deb, Alex, Denise, Lisa, and Justin are the main set-up and tear-down crew, selling gift shop items, children’s activities, handing out information, and taking photos. These day-long events would be totally exhausting without their help.
Learn more about volunteering for SOAR here.
So many folks have provided one-time or ongoing help that if we tried to thank them all, we would miss many. Please know that your help and time is truly appreciated!
As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, SOAR is required to annually file a federal income tax form.
- 2014 Federal 990ez (pdf)
- 2013 Federal 990ez (pdf)
- 2012 Federal 990ez (pdf)
- 2011 Federal 990ez (pdf)
- 2010 Federal 990ez (pdf)
- 2009 Federal 990ez (pdf)
- 2008 Federal 990ez (pdf)
- 2007 Federal 990ez (pdf)
- 2006 Federal 990ez (pdf)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permits that SOAR holds require annual reports be filed for each calendar year on rehabilitation, education, and species propagation activities.