With this year slowly getting back to normal BBC is also going to have its annual Birdathon as we have done in the past. Many of our birding spots were closed last year but this year we should have no problems accessing these areas. So, we can say we are back in business but of course we need your help to make it successful. We will be asking you to help support the different organizations that have asked for grants that help birds.
You will be contacted to give to this year’s Birdathon. You will be asked to make a pledge. This pledge can be done in two ways – pledging an amount for every bird seen or a set amount. After the Birdathon which will be held in May you will be contacted by the person you made your pledge to. That person will send you a description of their day of birding and how to send in your pledge. Should you not be contacted we hope you will still contribute to our Birdathon by either 1) making a check out to Beckham Bird Club and please indicate on your check 2021 Birdathon and mail to Beckham Bird Club, PO Box 5301, Louisville, KY 40255-0301 or 2) use PayPal at beckhambirdclub.org and click on activities or membership. You can also use your credit card at the PayPal site.
INFORMATION ABOUT PAST BIRDATHON GRANTS MAY BE FOUND IN THE BBC NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES. IN GENERAL, GRANT RECIPIENTS ARE ANNOUNCED IN THE APRIL ISSUE AND THE AMOUNT OF THE GRANTS IS ANNOUNCED IN THE NOVEMBER ISSUE.
Below are the organizations that the BBC board approved for grants this year from the money to be collected. Some of these organizations are requesting a grant for the first time or maybe have done so in the past but not last year.
KY Natural Lands Trust, Inc. KNLT is continuing its mission to protect, connect and restore wildlands. The primary focus remains on the Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor, a 125-mile mountain, a geography of unique biodiversity and high landscape resilience. KNLT is also working on an expansion to the Warbler Ridge Preserve. The newest tract will add an additional 300+ acres of contiguous forest that is known to be summer and swarming habitat for the endangered Indiana and Northern Long-eared bats.
Jefferson Memorial Forest We are promoting bird education in our ECHO (Engaging Children Outdoors) program at one of our partner community centers, converting a grassy area to native plants with two bird feeders that will increase excitement and teach children about native birds and how they can participate in citizen science to help the conservation of birds. We also hope to introduce the benefit of native plant species. $1,000 will go toward Native plants, and $200 toward feeder, a pole system, and window alert bird stickers.
Josephine Sculpture Park (A nonprofit organization and 30-acre park, with over 60 public art installations among mowed walking paths and native KY habitat.) The funds will be used in three main areas. 1. Invasive plant removal: maintenance of native wildflower and grass meadows; maintenance of tree planting sites. This creates a haven and critical habitat for nesting, overwintering, and migrating birds in a region of Franklin Co. As well as more food and habitat sources for birds and other wildlife. 2. Bird Education. Educational materials for bird-specific habitat sites, programs and tours. Subsidize the cost of bird-related environmental education programs to help reduce cost of registration, increasing access and equity during an unprecedented and difficult financial time due to Covidd-19. The education programs will be conducted by certified professional environmental educator, using curriculum inspired by Project Wild and Flying Wild. 3. Bluebird trail maintenance and volunteer management. Maintenance of boxes and hardware as needed; supplies and materials for monitoring & volunteer management (staff time & training supplies).
Surry Hills Nature Preserve, Inc. Grant will be used to expand the amount of land that can be permanently placed in green space by purchasing shares of currently Incorporated farm, allowing those shares to be included in the green space plan.
Floracliff Nature Sanctuary Funds are being requested to support the Community Science Nature Kits. The Nature Kits will provide resources for participation in community science projects that contribute to the documentation of biodiversity in central Kentucky’s urban and rural greenspaces. Grant funds will be used to purchase binoculars for the Nature Kits. They will be used by participants that do not have or may not be able to afford the equipment, in birding activities. By providing birding equipment and making the activity of birding more accessible, we hope to enrich the birding experience for more people and increase the overall interest of birding in our community.
Louisville Nature Center The funds would pay for habitat improvements outside our bird blind; primarily repairing and expanding the pond feature to create diversity in habitat as well as a water source. Additionally, we would use the funding to purchase a bird feeder, bird seed and suet for our blind, as our source that previously donated bird seed has gone out of business.
Earth and Spirit Center We would like to promote birdwatching by launching educational programs with students and the public. We are requesting funds for birding field guides, birding binoculars and a beginning birding habitat guide. Every summer, ESC sponsors Camp Odyssey for underprivileged students. The program includes many activities in the sanctuary as well as forging partnerships with such schools as St. Agnes and Bellarmine College.
KY Resources Council KRC provides advocacy on environmental and public health issues, direct and indirect legal representation, strategic and technical assistance, and community advocacy education. These services are provided without charge. The funds will be used to support the provision of pro-bono legal services under the Environmental and Community Defense Program.
Office of KY Nature Preserves This proposal encompasses several ongoing open habitat restoration projects in Central and Western KY. With each of these projects, our goals are to increase native plant diversity and improve the habitat for birds and small mammals by providing adequate food and cover. Four different sites would benefit from the funds. 1. Drennon Creek State Nature Preserve, Henry Co, KY 2. Julian Savanna State Nature Preserve, Franklin Co, KY 3. Green River Natural Areas, Hart Co., KY - Rush Island - Timberlake Any funds received from the BBC this year will be used by KNP to complete habitat management projects within these natural areas.
Kentucky Conservation Committee This year KCC is working on public education and protective policies relating to species protection in two primary focus areas around migration. 1. Impacts of birds and wildlife with relation to clean energy development. Our role is to help competing interests work together to minimize species impacts and provide clear information that will help protect migrating species in KY. 2. Impact on habitat with special attention to wildlife corridors. We will engage the general public/community groups who support nature and land conservation initiatives in KY and update them on progress and threats. Funds will be used for research, and educational presentation materials and webinars. Ideally, once we are covid-safe, we can move to more “in person” projects.
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest Bernheim is requesting funding from the BBC to support educational nature-based programing for Bernheim’s Spirit Nest – an interactive art instillation by internationally renowned artist Jayson Fann. Bernheim educators have developed the Birds of Bernheim program integrating Fann’s Spirit Nest with Bernheim’s Golden Eagle research and MOTUS Wildlife Tracking System. The objectives of this program would be to: • Examine the diversity of birds found at Bernheim and the habitats they reside in. How these birds are adapted to their surroundings. • Detail ways researchers study birds, specifically by using MOTUS and Golden Eagle trackers to determine migration patterns. • Discuss why bird conservation is important, how individuals can help, and ways we can express the value to different audiences. Funding would support program related expenses including Birds of Bernheim Birding Kits. These kits would be used during the Birds of Bernheim program, and available for interested parties to checkout from the Education Center. Kits would include Binoculars, a bird identification book, species checklist, and a Birds of Bernheim pamphlet to take home at program completion.
Woods and Waters Land Trust Our project will support trail expansion at Vaughn Branch Nature Preserve in Frankfort, KY. This will provide access to a variety of additional habitat types, enabling a better ability to organize diverse birding programs. The trail expansion will also improve preserve maintenance because much of the preserve is currently difficult to access efficiently and safely. The existing trail is only 0.25 miles long and located within the northernmost portion of the preserve. However, the preserve has a sustainable capacity for 1.25 miles of natural-surface trail. How will the funds be used: • Increasing trail access throughout the Vaughn Branch Preserve. These funds will enable trail mapping and the beginning stages of trail construction. • Increasing the number of birding and other nature programs.