Indraloka Animal Sanctuary and Marywood University partner to offer Farmitecture

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On any given day, a lot more than animal care and rescue goes on at Indraloka Animal Sanctuary in Mehoopany, PA, and some of it may surprise you.

Take Saturday.  A group of architecture students and their professor had a rare opportunity—a chance not only to design an eco-friendly building, but to actually build their design at Indraloka.  They are part of a class called “Farmitecture.”  A unique partnership, Indraloka and the Marywood University School of Architecture work together to offer the class.  Every year, students design and build environmentally friendly housing for the animals.

O’Connor is enthusiastic about the class.  “The students participating in the course this year are a committed and creative group constantly challenging themselves and seeking the best design solutions.  They are in a unique situation as they design for a client that cannot speak and therefore have done research to make the best design decisions.  It is wonderful seeing them become empowered through the process- watching the design come to fruition ultimately culminating in constructing the aviary.”

This year, the student project is an aviary featuring a built-in water collection system and planters.   The planters will contain peas and herbs, not only to feed the birds, but to also repel insects that bother birds, to name just a few of the visually stunning aviary’s creative features.  Last year, students built a house for mini-pigs that features moveable walls, so that the design can be altered as needed.

As if that were not enough, while the Farmitecture students were building on Saturday, the sanctuary was also hosting a semi-private coaching session on Animal Intelligence and Communication.  During the session, participants learned about the most recent scientific research on how animals communicate, and then practiced animal communication using those techniques with several of the sanctuary’s 177 rescued animal residents.

It is innovative programs like these that are getting Indraloka noticed around the world.  In fact, O’Connor, who is also Vice President of Indraloka’s board of directors, will be giving a TEDx Scranton Talk in August about the groundbreaking partnership between Indraloka and Marywood.  And Indra Lahiri, the sanctuary’s founder, will be presenting on “Building and Sustaining the Sanctuary of Your Dreams” at this year’s International Animal Rights Conference.  This is the second year in a row that the sanctuary will be featured at this conference.

Indeed, Indraloka has received so much attention recently that they have been challenged in keeping up with the onslaught of requests for animal rescue and educational opportunities.  How will they overcome this challenge?  Another creative idea has been born.

Team Indraloka : It’s a simple idea, really:  Indraloka is recruiting 1,008 people to raise $108 each in 45 days.  Doing so will allow the sanctuary to create infrastructure to meet the increased demand for its innovative educational opportunities and animal rescue services.  This will change countless lives for animals of all species as well as for the children and adults of our community.  Children and adults alike will have many new opportunities to learn and grow at Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, one of Pennsylvania’s only all-species and farm animal rescues.  On Thursday, Team Indraloka kicked off its fundraiser using to track donations, recruit team members and promote the fundraiser. 

Of the launch, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary founder Indra Lahiri said, We understood that we could not grow to meet the community’s needs without help, so we devised a simple way for supporters to make it possible for us to do more good than ever before.”  The campaign is off to a brilliant start, with 36 team members and over $10,000 raised in just the first three days.  This figure includes a seven-day matching gift challenge—the donor will match every dollar raised by sanctuary supporters in the next week, up to $8,100.

To join or help Team Indraloka, visit the fundraising page:
·         Help raise $108 in the next 45 days by clicking “Fundraise” under the “Join This Team” section. 
·         Make a donation by clicking a team member’s name and clicking “Donate Now.”
·         Promote the above link to your networks.  Publish it to your Facebook wall, post it on your Twitter, email contacts from your address book, or put our Donation Widget on your web site.
About Indraloka Animal Sanctuary:  Indraloka Animal Sanctuary provides “heaven on earth” for animals that have nowhere else to turn, and educates the community, especially children, on ways in which to better care for ourselves and the environment while helping animals in need.  Founded in 2005, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary is a private, non-profit, charitable (501c3) organization and has provided educational programs to over 1,000 children and 500 adults while rescuing and caring for more than 600 animals through their natural lifespans.

photo credit: Indraloka Animal Sanctuary

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