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Georgia Southern University

Ball is new chairman of Wildlife Center’s advisory board

Statesboro entrepreneur David Ball has been elected chairman of the advisory board for the Center for Wildlife Education and the Lamar Q Ball Jr. Raptor Center at Georgia Southern University.

Ball succeeds Frida Moore of Savannah as the chair of the advisory board, which plays a key role in fundraising efforts for the Wildlife Center.

‘David has always been one of our most enthusiastic and generous supporters, so we are delighted that he has agreed to take on this important leadership role,” said Steve Hein, the director of the Wildlife Center.

A native of Atlanta, Ball first came to Statesboro in 1974 as a student at Georgia Southern. In the early 1980s, he opened Archibald’s, which became one of the community’s most popular restaurants.

Ball founded the Boys and Girls Club of Bulloch County and serves on the Bulloch County Board of Education. He is a member of the Rotary Club and serves on the board of directors for Sea Island Bank.

In 2003, Ball received the Eagle Lifetime Achievement Award from the University’s Office of Alumni Relations.

‘I’ve seen a lot of changes in Statesboro over the past 30 years, and the Wildlife Center is one of the best,” Ball said. ‘It brings a lot of people to our community and to the Georgia Southern campus, and it’s a great educational experience for people of all ages.

‘I really believe it’s a crown jewel for both Statesboro and the University.”

Occupying five acres in the heart of the Georgia Southern campus, the Wildlife Center opened in 1997. It is designed to support the University’s environmental education programs and to provide the region’s citizens with an up-close look at native animals and plants.

The Center features a self-guided boardwalk tour that winds through a variety of habitats, including an old-growth forest, a wetlands area and a mountain display that allow visitors to see native raptors in their natural environments.

A 150-seat amphitheater is used for live wildlife programs and flight shows that have proven to be very popular attraction with children. The Center also includes an indoor classroom that is used for educational programs and hands-on activities.

The Raptor Center bears the name of David Ball’s father. With the younger Ball at the helm of the advisory board, the Wildlife Center is preparing to break ground in January on an ambitious expansion project.

The new addition will feature a 45-foot high aviary that will house a variety of songbirds. The addition will also include a water fowl pond for ducks and wading birds such as herons and storks, plus a wetlands area that is expected to attract a number of migratory species.

The project is scheduled to be finished in Fall 2007.

‘When the expansion is complete,” Ball said, ‘we will have as fine a wildlife center as there is anywhere in the southeastern United States.”

The Wildlife Center is located on Forest Drive, just off of U.S. Highway 301. The Center is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. every Monday through Friday, and from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. every Saturday.

For more information, visit http://welcome.georgiasouthern.edu/wildlife or call (912) 681-0831.

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