By Annie Kaempfer
"All this is healing, all this is medicine. All this changes who you are." - Rodney Stotts
THE FALCONER is a story of second chances: for injured birds of prey, for an abandoned plot of land, for a group of teenagers who have dropped out of high school, and for Maryland resident, Rodney Stotts. Dotted with abandoned buildings and towering trees, the former juvenile prison complex of Oak Hill is full of potential as far as Rodney Stotts is concerned. One of only a handful of African American falconers in the country, he envisions a refuge for the animals he loves and transformative opportunities for his stressed community in the Washington, D.C. metro area.
As Rodney Stotts embarks on his mission to build a bird sanctuary he draws upon the participation of his community. Without money, he builds aviaries with donated wood. Without staff, he calls on family, friends, and volunteers for help. THE FALCONER is a testament to the power of one man and one big dream, in service of the belief that everyone deserves access to nature.