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An abandoned dairy barn in Anne Arundel County is the newest development of the Earth Conservation Corps' River of Hope Initiatve. We are there to engage with the talented cadets living at the Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe Academy and Scholars at Maya Angelou's Academy at New Beginnings in raptor rehabilitation & research as a STEM interest gateway.

Earth Conservation Corps is currently working with Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe Academy cadets and the Fresh Start Project DC to build the raptor rehabilitation & research center permitted by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. At the Wings Barn, specially trained youth will work to rehabilitate injured Hawks, Eagles, Falcons, and Owls for release back to the wild. The care and reconditioning provided by youth under the guidance of our raptor specialists often lead to lifelong engagement with nature and conservation.


Founding Earth Conservation Corps member Rodney Stotts is leading the Wings effort with his program Rodney's Raptors. Now a master Falconer, Mr. Stotts has dedicated twenty-nine years to connecting people from all walks of life with the healing power of nature. A founding Corps member, Rodney has devoted over two decades as Earth Conservation raptor program director. Rodney's story with raptors just aired this June 2021 on PBS, called The Falconer. Mr. Stotts has also started his own program called Rodney's Raptors. Additionally, Island Press just announced the publishing of Rodney Stotts’ new book, Bird Brother.


As we build one of the largest eagle aviaries in the Eastern U.S. with Capital Guardian cadets, we need your help through boots on the ground time or donations to help our D.C. youth finish out this mission for a raptor rehabilitation center. To join us through time or donation... 




Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe cadets and scholars at DYRS Maya Angelou Academy at New Beginnings will be leaders in raptor rehabilitation as they discover the power of working with birds of prey. Their environmental stewardship will inspire them to become the next generation of Earth Conservation Corps members that carry on the legacy of taking care of our D.C. natural environment and community that the original corps members began almost 30 years ago.

Watch a brief video below of our Wings Campus initiative below


Rodney Stotts with our owl, Mr. Hoots & Capital Guardian cadets

Humans have been fascinated with Eagles, Hawks, Falcons, and Owls for thousands of years. By teaching elements of the ancient art and science of falconry, we empower youth to care for birds of prey and reconnect to nature.  

Being responsible for a wild raptor is a transformative experience that inspires both a thirst for STEM education and a reconnection to self. The relationship offers mutual healing. The raptor gets a second chance for survival and the relationship can change the course of a young person’s life. Many will gain a lifetime connection to raptors and conservation. On returning home to DC, our Anacostia River education centers - The Monique Johnson Anacostia River Center and The Matthew Henson Earth Conservation Center - offer a seamless path for the youth to a build on their knowledge of science and nature.

 The American Kestrel

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Two of Earth Conservation Corps' bald eagles, Liberty & Justice. Pictured from live nest feed, 2017.


Check out these recent images of the Fresh Start Project Capital Guardian cadets hard at work as they build the first installation of our Wings Campus -- The Eagle Aviary.