Beavers at the Refuge, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Canada goose, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Eastern mud turtle, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Red-tailed hawk, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Fungi on log, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Black rat snake, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Horned passalus beetle, photo by Dave Sauder
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Groundhog, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Spicebush swallowtail butterfly, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Black vultures, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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American bullfrog, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

Unexpected Wildlife Refuge is a protected natural habitat comprising 767 acres of pristine pine lands, forest, fields, bogs, streams and lakes. 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

We are delighted to report on the progress that has been made with the construction of our new headquarters, replacing our old one known as the cabin. The outer structure is almost complete, the windows and doors are in and the plumbing and heating is being installed. Below are some photos that illustrate the progress. This project has only been possible because of the generosity of you, our supporters. We are extremely grateful to everyone who has already donated, including a recent gift of $20,000 from an anonymous source.

We still need, however, to raise a further $83,000 in order to complete the project. If you have not yet donated -- or would like to provide additional funds -- we hope you will help us in this time of need.

All donations for this much needed infrastructure will help to ensure long term stability for the Refuge by providing for office space and accommodations for our residential manager. As many of you who have visited the Refuge know, having someone live and work onsite maximizes our ability to protect this wonderful habitat, which provides a unique haven for wildlife, including species officially listed as endangered or threatened in New Jersey.

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
New headquarters, photo by Leor Veleanu
New headquarters
Leor Veleanu
Siding, photo by Dave Sauder
Dave Sauder
View from future office, photo by Dave Sauder
View from future office
Dave Sauder
Attic and living space, photo by Dave Sauder
Attic and living space
Dave Sauder

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.