After 25 years at the Howell Nature Center, Dana DeBenham, Director of Wildlife and Education, is retiring.
DeBenham will leave behind a legacy of her many years at the Nature Center by developing a Wildlife Park with over 70 Animal Ambassadors, a Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic and Pre-Release Zone serving over 4000 animals annually. She also created an extensive Wildlife Outreach program, featuring Alexandria’s Nature Bus, which is said to have reached thousands of people in the region by helping them connect with nature.
CEO John “JC” Carlson says DeBenham “has played an integral role in building a Wildlife Care and Education institution at the Howell Nature Center that has impacted the community in ways that brings kindness and compassion to the forefront of a busy society”, while helping all find ways to live in harmony with wildlife.
In addition to DeBenham’s retirement, the Nature Center has announced the addition of a new Director of Wildlife and Education, Laura Butler. Butler joins the Nature Center Wildlife Team from the Detroit Zoo, where she worked for 13 years with mammals and birds in various animal care and management positions. Butler says she is “very passionate about animal welfare, conservation, and wildlife education”, which are all important parts of the Nature Center’s mission.
Photo 1: Dana DeBenham
Photo 2: Laura Butler