Bird Conservation Boosted by Audubon Innovation Grants

November 3, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

The National Audubon Society recently made the choice to award TogetherGreen Conservation Innovation Grants which amounted to $1.4 million. The money will be used to fund as many as 41 different conservation projects taking place in 24 states. The National Audubon Society is supported by Toyota.

The Audubon chapters that received the grants focused their efforts on reaching out to community groups and getting involved in diverse communities that have never really been a part of conservation efforts before. In doing so they will try to help people from all walks of life and backgrounds to become more interested in conserving their environment and so help to make a difference. According to John Flicker, the National Audubon Society President and CEO, a little goes a long way. Flicker said “a small amount of money can produce big results locally. The idea is to give our local Audubon centers around the country the incentive to forge partnerships, to bring in new partners.” Flicker also commented on the overall goals of the initiative, saying: “We can limit threat of pollution in communities, limit the threat of global warming, help underprivileged communities to preserve their local resources. We need to get everybody involved, engage people from every ethnic and racial community to help preserve the environment.” Noble sentiments indeed.

A protection and awareness project in St. Petersburg, Florida, was one of the many projects to receive a grant. The $9,000 grant will be used to set up bird stewards who will monitor the nesting sites of the threatened Least Tern and Black Skimmer and prevent beach-goers from trampling the habitat as well as stopping dogs from eating their eggs. The stewards will be hired from Eckherd College and trained by an Audubon coordinator. The largest grant was given to the Audubon initiative in Pennsylvania as well as its associated partners in the same state who will be working hard to help the general public create bird and animal havens in their own backyards. The project will operate by sending 25 newly trained Audubon advisors out into the field to train volunteers in how best to help home owners manage their yards so that it becomes a haven for a variety of animals. The benefits of sustainable landscaping will be highlighted and more than 500 properties will be affected by the initiative.

Many more brilliant initiatives were awarded grant money by the National Audubon Society and members of the organization will soon be doing their best to make sure that the grant money is well spent. The effort that is put forth will certainly help people from various walks of life to become more involved in conservation and this will hopefully greatly impact the dwindling bird numbers across the country.

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