Spring is a time of renewal. Rebirth. Growth. Return of our amazing migrant birds, who have just finished very long and arduous journeys from far-off parts of the Western Hemisphere.
But this spring is special. Not only have our migrants finished their long journeys and returned home once again, but we are returning too. After a shared journey through challenging times, we are finally starting to return to a more normal state, a more normal operation. We’re gearing up!
Here at Montana Audubon, that means a breadth and diversity of activities, from teaching preschool kids at Montana Audubon Center in Billings and working with partners to fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), to conducting Long-billed Curlew fieldwork in Phillips County.
Yes, we have had to adapt. We’ve altered Center programs to incorporate social distancing. We’ve held online Great Blue Heron survey trainings instead of in-person sessions. We’ve worked on LWCF from our computers instead of visits to Washington, DC. But, we continue on!
Here’s what we are up to during these spring days of renewal:
Fledglings Preschool resumed during the last couple of weeks of the school year! Students are spending all of their time outdoor exploration activities, making mud pies, spying wildlife, and making shelters.
Homeschool Nature Explorers are having a great time discovering the outdoors and learning teamwork through activities ranging from fort building to plant identification.
Audubon Adventure Summer Camps registration is open and will continue on a rolling basis. The week-long camps will occur for nine weeks, starting on June 8th.
Field work is underway this week for our Science team, who are currently surveying Long-billed curlews in Phillips County, at the request of and with support from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), who conducts research into keystone species’ effects on biodiversity in grassland ecosystems.
We will be hosting our second round of online Citizen Science Trainings June 2nd, 6pm, this time for Eastern Montana Chimney swift survey sites.
Audubon Wildlife Grants have been awarded to five worthy conservation projects in Montana.
In early March 2020, the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), S. 3422, was introduced in the Senate that included full dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). We have been working tirelessly to show how LWCF enables wildlife habitat and access to our public lands, which bird watchers and conservationists like you prioritize. We are very close, and it is all because of YOUR good work!
We are committed to continuing this diverse approach, even during these challenging times, because our three-pronged formula – science and conservation, policy and advocacy, and education – serves to meet our mission. Also, diversity creates resilience. We see this in nature, and we’re no different. For example, facilitating a love of nature in kids creates the next generation of conservation stewards, who will get involved in our science, on-the-ground conservation work, and policy, the areas we mobilize every day to make a difference in Montana and beyond.