Current Events:

2 Red-shouldered Hawks Being Released

August 18th, 2022 @ 4 p.m.

@ the Merriman Soccer Complex

Release will take place near the soccer field furthest to the left if facing from Merriman Road. Public is encouraged to attend!

First Fridays downtown on Franklin Road between Jefferson and Williamson (Volunteers still needed – contact if you can help)

August 5th, 2022
August 19th, 2022

5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Rockbridge Community Festival in beautiful downtown Lexington, VA returns for its 45th year! The Rockbridge Community Festival features local vendors, local organizations, family fun, live music, and great food vendors. All proceeds will go to benefit local charities. For more information click HERE!

August 27th, 2022

11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Southwest Virginia Pride Fest will be taking place at the Vinton War Memorial in lovely Vinton, VA. We’re very pleased to take part in this inaugural event featuring entertainment, a vendor marketplace, a kids zone, food, and more! For more information click HERE!

September 17th, 2022

12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

A Night Owl on the Town – Our annual charity gala is back! We’ll have a silent and live auction, live music and dancing, heavy hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and a great time to be had by all! It will take place downtown at the Shenandoah Club from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Tickets are $80/person prices and will be available for purchase on our website HERE!

October 1st, 2022

6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Hokie BugFest – Hokie BugFest celebrates the fun and exciting science of entomology, and the Virginia Tech tradition of learning and discovery, through outreach and engagement. This event highlights an ongoing youth education program hosted by the Virginia Tech Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Virginia Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program, and the department’s student-run professional organization, the W. B. Alwood Entomological Society.

October 8th, 2022

November 1st – 30th

November Old Salem Brewery, Twisted Track, and ??/

Upcoming Public Education Programs: 

One hour programs will feature some of our amazing non-releasable animal education ambassadors. We’ll share fun stories, teach history, and provide information on how we can help the wonderful wild animals around us!

If you or someone you know is interested in an educational program please email the center at

Past Events:

Give A Hoot at the Mill Mountain Zoo will be an exciting day to celebrate Owl Awareness Day (August 4th). The zoo will have their exhibit owls on display and the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center will be present with some of our education ambassador owls! Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children. For more information click HERE!

August 6th, 2022

11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Double bird release at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond

Thursday, July 21st @ 4 p.m.

The Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke is very pleased to announce that we will be releasing a Mallard duck and a Canada Goose at the Virginia Tech Duckpond Gazebo. After spending a couple months with us in rehab these two have become quite good friends and will be going back home tomorrow. Director of Operations, Haley Olsen-Hodges, will be present to conduct the release and answer any questions.

July 7th 2:00 p.m.
Dublin Public Library (Free Memorial Library)
Dublin, VA

July 16th 7:00 p.m.
Claytor Lake State Park
Dublin, VA
More info

June 18th 7:00 p.m.
Claytor Lake State Park
Dublin, VA
More info

June 6th, 10:00 a.m.
Christiansburg Library
Christiansburg, VA

June 6th, 2:00 p.m.
Meadowbrook Library
Shawsville, VA

June 7th, 10:00 a.m.
Blacksburg Library (MFRL- Library)
Blacksburg, VA

June 7th, 3:00 p.m.
Jessica Peterman Library
Floyd, VA


Saturday June 4th, 2022

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

*We will be presenting 3 times, for 20 minutes each, on the main stage at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 12:00 p.m.

Buchanan Town Park

We will be present with some of our wonderful Education Ambassadors! Previously known as the Botetourt Fishing Carnival, BOCO WILD will encompass a diverse array of outdoor interests— all are welcome to explore a wide range of activities including our historically popular community tradition of fishing instruction, as well as wildlife education, hunting safety, hiking, river activities, boating education and so much more.

Mother’s Day Barnes & Noble Book Fair

May 2nd – 8th, 2022

Use ID# 12623310 with all purchases at any Barnes & Noble nationwide and we’ll receive 5% of the total sales for that week.

“Breakfast, it’s for the birds”

Saturday May 7th, 2022

8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Many of our ambassadors will be present for breakfast in the cafe area at Barnes & Noble at Tanglewood Mall.

GIVE Roanoke 

April 20th, 2022

12:00 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.

GIVE Roanoke is our annual 24 hour giving day campaign. However, EARLY GIVING is now open!!!

Click here to make a difference for wildlife. 

Barred Owl Release

Tuesday, April 19th, 2022 @ 7 p.m.

Journeys End at the Roanoke County Explore Park

Eastern Screech Owl Release

Friday, February 18th @ 5:45 p.m.

Eastern Elementary/Middle School (EEMS)

September 28th, 2021

Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign is underway!

Click HERE to donate (only Virginia state employees may donate)


Photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus

December 4th, 2021

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Sign up HERE!


October 29th – November 13th

Click HERE to start bidding!

October 23rd, 2021

Owl Workshop

Come to the Explore Park and learn some interesting facts about these fascinating and somewhat mysterious birds of prey. Find out which owls live in Roanoke County and how to identify them by sight and sound. Learn how and why they raise their young in the winter. Discover the secrets of these intriguing birds and dissect an owl pellet to learn even more! Children must be accompanied by a paid, registered adult.

Roanoke County Parks Explore Park, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.


October 16th, 2021

Adventure Saturday @ The Explore Park

-We will be part of Adventure Saturday in the nature activities section with a program called “Trees, and the animals that use them.”

Roanoke County Parks Explore Park , 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.


October 13th, 2021

Pita Pit Fundraiser (they’ll be donating a percentage of their takeout sales to Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center)

301 S. Jefferson Street from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Pita Pit 


September 25th, 2021

Vinton Public Library

Local Wildlife 101

This one hour program will feature 2-3 of Southwest Virginia’s Wildlife Center’s non-releasable animal ambassadors who will share stories, natural history, and information on how we can help the wild animals around us. Event will be held on the patio. Weather permitting. Space is limited. Register online.

Register HERE!

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


September 26th @ 12 p.m.

Kroger Community Fundraiser

Cave Spring Corners Kroger


September 16th, 2021

American Kestrel and Green Heron Release

Wasena Park @ 3 p.m.

September 10th, 2021

Eastern Screech Owl Release

Mill Mountain Park overlook @ 6:00 p.m.

This Eastern Screech Owl was found as a baby lying on the ground covered in flies. After a couple months of rehabilitation with us it is ready to released to finally begin its life in the wild.


September 11th, 2021 (Saturday)

Fundraiser: West End Cruise In

1917 Chapman Ave S.W. Roanoke, VA 24016

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

(rain date September 12th, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)


September 8th, 2021 (Wednesday)

Pints With A Purpose @ Parkway Brewing 

739 Kessler Mill Rd, Salem, VA 24153

5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Saltys Lobster Co will also be there and donating $1 from every Lobster roll sold!


September 9th, 2021

Canada Goose Release @ Virginia Tech

This Canada Goose was originally found stuck in VT’s drone cage having sustained a few injuries to the wings and legs. After a few months in rehab with us it is ready to be free once more.

Release will take place at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond near the gazebo at 4:30 p.m.

Haley Olsen-Hodges, staff naturalist and Virginia Tech Senior, will be on conducting the release.


August 18th, 2021

Chillin’ Shaved Ice will be donating 10% of sales and 100% of their tips.  They are located at 1318 Riverland Road, SE, Roanoke 24014

August 13th, 2021

Red-tailed Hawk Release at Fishburn Park at 3 p.m.

Sabrina Garvin, executive director, and Samantha Cline, senior staff, will be on hand to conduct the release and to answer questions.

August 10th, 2021

Samantha Cline, a member of our senior staff, will be releasing a Barred Owl at 7 p.m. The release will take place by the pond near what used to be Ballast Point Brewery


July 23rd, 2021

Tails and Tales Educational Program

Big Island Branch of Bedford County Libraries, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Registration is open click here .


July 16th

First Fridays Roanoke

Downtown Roanoke 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Live music, beer/wine for sale, food truck onsite, and proceeds help the wildlife center.

June 19th, 2021

Forest Branch of Bedford County Libraries – Event is full!

June 18th

First Fridays Roanoke

Downtown Roanoke 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Live music, beer/wine for sale, food truck onsite, and proceeds help the wildlife center.

March 2nd, 2021

Red-tailed Hawk Release
We will be conducting a release of a Red-tailed Hawk in Danville, VA at 3:45 p.m at 900 Northmont Blvd at the Johnson Shelter (park). Kaitlyn Rankin will be present to conduct the release.

December 4th, 2020

Great Horned Owl Release – Salem, VA

This release was done by Sabrina Garvin.


Past Events:

We will be releasing a Great Horned Owl at the lower Pandapas Pond parking lot this Friday October 30th, 2020 at 5pm. The patient was found by Beth Lohman of Blacksburg, VA on September 12th, 2020 and was captured with the assistance of Dr. Greg Daniel, professor of Radiology at the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Kaityln Rankin, a member of our staff, will be conducting the release. Kaityln recently graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Biology and a concentration in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior.


We are releasing a Red-Tailed Hawk Saturday October 24th, 2020 at 12pm at Fishburn Park in Roanoke, VA. Timiah Palmer will be conducting the release and Sabrina Garvin, Executive Director, will be on site.

We are also releasing a second Red-Tailed Hawk Saturday October 24th at 3pm at 716 Blue Grass Trail, Newport, VA 24128. Haley Olsen-Hodges will be conducting the release.

helping hands logo

5985 Coleman Road, Roanoke, VA 24018