Beavers at the Refuge, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Access into the Refuge after snow, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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American bullfrog in main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Bald-faced hornet, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Baltimore oriole, photo by Leor Veleanu
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Beavers near their lodge, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Buttonbush, photo by Sage Russell
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Canada goose in flight, photo by Richard Rosenberg
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Cicada, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Cinnabar chanterelle fungus, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Crayfish, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

Unexpected Wildlife Refuge is a protected natural habitat comprising 767 acres of pristine pine lands, forest, fields and bogs. It provides a refuge to animals and plants indigenous to southern New Jersey; a place where wildlife can live freely and naturally without fear of being harmed at the hands of human beings. We began as the home of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci and Cavit Buyukmihci, who dedicated their land to habitat preservation so that native wildlife and habitat could thrive. We are a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) entity, federal ID 23-7025010.
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We Need Your Help To Ensure a Future for Unexpected Wildlife Refuge
Old headquarters, photo by Trustee Leor Veleanu
Photo by Trustee Leor Veleanu

Our headquarters building -- which we affectionately refer to as the cabin -- sadly is no longer habitable and is unsalvageable. Those of you who have visited the Refuge will have seen that its location -- at the major access point for the Refuge and close to the main pond -- is crucial to the administration and protection of the Refuge. Not only has it been the office for the Refuge, it provided living quarters for the onsite manager, a person who is indispensable in maintaining the Refuge, patrolling and protecting it from unwanted intruders and providing guidance to Refuge visitors who come to enjoy this pristine wildlife habit in southern New Jersey.

After many months of planning, we are delighted to report that we are now ready to move forward with replacing our old headquarters. We have cleared the bureaucratic hurdles, have engaged a 'green' firm to develop the architectural plans and have contracted with a construction company to build the new building. The new headquarters will be sited where the cabin is currently and will serve as our office and home for the onsite manager. Once the new building is ready for occupation, the Miller House, a short distance away, will become an expanded education and volunteer center.

The Refuge is a small non-profit organization that exists due to the generosity of you and other members of the public. To continue to protect our beautiful sanctuary, we urgently need your financial support to obtain the funds necessary for constructing our new headquarters!

We have received a generous donation from an anonymous donor that has made the start of this project possible and we will be breaking ground shortly. But, we still need another $175,000 to ensure that we can finish this project. We know this is a large sum of money. We hope that you will carefully consider our appeal and provide the most generous donation you can to help guarantee a safe future for the animals and plants living here. As always, your donation would be fully tax-deductible.

We hope we can count on your immediate support:

  • Send a check to our address: PO Box 765 Newfield, NJ 08344
  • Use your credit card and our PayPal account
  • Use your credit card through JustGiving
  • Arrange a fundraising event in support of the Refuge

The cabin began as the home of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci and Cavit Buyukmihci, the Refuge co-founders. They purchased it and the surrounding land in order to live amongst and protect wildlife with their children. Recognizing that they needed to ensure continued protection of the animals and plants living at the Refuge after they were gone, Hope and Cavit gave the cabin and their homestead land to the Refuge. As funds became available, additional land was added to the protected habitat. After their deaths, the cabin became not only the Refuge headquarters, but also the living space for the Refuge manager.