Paton Center 2017 Capital Campaign
A HOMEPLACE FOR HUMMINGBIRDS
Preserving a Backyard Legacy for the World
From early 2014, when Tucson Audubon began to steward the Paton Center for Hummingbirds in Patagonia, we knew that the home was in very poor condition and would need serious attention soon. While we visit the Paton Center to watch hummingbirds and other southeast Arizona specialties, the Paton home itself anchors this sanctuary in important ways. To preserve the legacy of intimate backyard birding and the modeling of dense habitat gardening on a home-sized lot, a home with a caretaker is an essential part of the Paton experience.
Throughout 2016, Tucson Audubon analyzed our options, conducted a professional feasibility study, and conferred with a wide variety of stakeholders. In December of 2016, our Board of Directors recommended bringing down the house entirely and building a new home as much in the spirit of the original Paton home as possible—but with important energy-efficient upgrades and an interior remodel for optimum functionality. Repairing and remodeling the existing home was seriously considered, but its position directly in the floodway would have required lifting the entire structure nearly a foot so that it would comply with FEMA regulations—and the price of that maneuver was extremely high! It simply makes more sense to rebuild, as carefully as possible.
Tucson Audubon’s Board voted to approve a $450,000 Capital Campaign for rebuilding the house. The campaign begins in January 2017 and will run for one year. Construction cannot begin until we have raised the funds. A launch to celebrate the campaign will be held at the Paton Center, April 28–30, 2017. Tucson Audubon has already raised 33% of the goal.
Wally and Marion Paton could not have known that their simple act of kindness—opening up their backyard to thousands of curious birders—would lead to their home-site becoming a sanctuary for birds and people alike. Now the time has come to insure that their legacy—and this homeplace for hummingbirds—is preserved for future generations of hummingbirds, and birders, and everyone open to discovering the wonder of southeast Arizona’s wild birds.