It has been a busy month at RCSE with two new member inductions!  This past Friday, the club inducted Dylan Anderson - welcome Dylan!  President Cindy Kelley asked for members to mark their calendar for Friday, May 10 for moving the refrigerators into the Tiny Houses.  This service project will replace our normal Friday meeting and will be held from 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM.  A boxed lunch will be served.  After all business items were discussed, Laura Lane McKinnon introduced our speaker for the day - Heather Merbs with Oatland Island Wildlife Center.  
 
Heather began by giving a brief history of the building at Oatland Island.  It was built in 1926 as a retirement home for railroad conductors.  In the late 30's, it became a hospital and place for research.  The research arm ended up moving to Atlanta in the 1970's and is now known as the CDC.  After they vacated the building, the Savannah Chatham School System purchased the building in 1974 and the building as well as the whole facility is still apart of the school system.  They are opened 361 days a year and have 100 acres with animals that are native to Georgia and a mile long nature trail.  
 
There are over 40 programs available ranging in age from toddlers to adults.  All students in the public school system are able to go to Oatland Island for free once a year on school field trips.  Starting in the Fall of 2019, there will be a pre-k program on site with 22 students.  During 2017, students from over 40 schools visited the site, over 28,000 students participated in programs, there were almost 70,000 visitors and special events drew 6,000 people.  In 2018, a tornado hit Oatland Island causing extensive damage.  They had to close for six months in order to make repairs.  There is a Friends of Oatland support group which is a 501c3 organization that helps raise funds for Oatland Island as well as helps manage the gift shop, birthday parties, memberships and provides lecture series.  
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