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Bird aviary takes flight at Farragut Health Care Center

Farragut Health Care Center has gone to the birds.

Farragut Health Care Center has a new bird aviary thanks in part to Japanese businessman Shinya Ubukata.

Ubukata, who befriended Lenoir City residents Avery “Buck” and Violet Weaver many years ago, decided that he would like to “give back” to the couple and provide lasting enjoyment to the residents at the health care facility. Violet Weaver is a resident at the Farragut Health Care Center.

“Avery, Violet and I began a relationship years ago and have become very close,” Ubukata said. “I live 7,000 miles away from here and have always considered them my ‘American’ parents.”

Farragut Health Care staffers Mandy Scarborough, director of therapeutic activities, and Crista Slover, activities assistant, were approached by Ubukata about putting a bird aviary at the health care center. Both women determined that the aviary would not only bring enjoyment to the residents but would also provide an additional benefit in the form of pet therapy.

The pair determined that the aviary would be beneficial, not only to Violet, but also to all at the facility.

Ubukata said he wanted to see the project come to fruition. He said, “In the bottom of my heart, Violet is my American mother.”

The bird aviary is located in the dining room of the health care center. It is able to house 15 birds and currently has society and gouldian finches, birds that are native to China and Australia. Both types of finches are suited to life in an aviary. The design matches the décor of the facility. It is built of wood and Plexiglas, allowing the vision of the birds to be unobstructed.

More than 20 individuals and families contributed to the aviary project, including Chris and Jerry Walker, who are relatives of resident Geneva Rector. The Walkers said they were happy to participate in something that would provide enjoyment to Rector and the other residents.

“Association with nature is one of the most enriching experiences of our lives and since the residents are no longer in a position to associate with nature as they once did, we felt it important to help enrich their daily lives by bringing this beautiful aviary indoors to them,” said Jerry Walker. Creative Environments Aviaries, LLC, located in Athens, Ga., designed the aviary. The company has been building aviaries for more than 10 years.

“It is our hope that the aviary will provide the residents of this facility hours of pleasure,” said Dan and Sheila Walthers, Creative Environments Aviaries owners.

Farragut Health Care Center is located at 12823 Kingston Pike.


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