Audubon North Carolina has 10 amazing chapters across the state that help put a local focus on bird preservation and conservation issues. In this special blog series, we’ll focus on a chapter each month to learn more about their history, what they are working on, and to increase the statewide understanding of special ecosystems and habitats. Each month will include a series of posts about each chapter including a post from our biologists that will share a unique research project that is happening in the chapter’s geographic footprint.
This month, we get to know Wake Audubon – www.wakeaudubon.org. Read on to learn more about our chapter based in Raleigh.
Throughout its history, Wake Audubon has built a reputation for conserving and protecting birds throughout the Triangle. We have responded to threats to local natural areas by petitioning local government to create nature parks, and have also provided guidance in natural area management over the years.
Wake Audubon has put its stamp on many of the parks that make the City of Oaks what it is today, including Anderson Point, Durant Nature Park and Horseshoe Farm Nature Park. Wake County’s Historic Yates Millpond and Cary’s Hemlock Bluffs Nature Park also received early support from our chapter.
A passion for advocacy goes hand in hand with a love of birds. Constructing petitions and speaking before city and county governing bodies have been on-going activities. And that work hasn’t gone unnoticed by our city’s leaders.
- 2001: Wake Audubon was named the Fred Fletcher Volunteer Organization of the Year by the Raleigh Parks Department.
- 2007: Wake Audubon received the North Carolina Governor's Award for Environmental Organization of the Year.
Wake Audubon has built relationships with Raleigh residents as well. The chapter invests considerable time in stewardship projects including a stream-watch adoption, and Purple Martin, Eastern Bluebird, Wood Duck and meadow species conservation projects.
In 2008, Wake Audubon began a “Bird of the Year” program, in order to educate our community about the challenges our local birds face.
Annual Valentine’s Day Woodcock courtship walks are a tradition, and one couple even got engaged during a walk! We are working on an agreement with NC State University’s Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources to help maintain Woodcock habitat within their teaching property, Carl Alwin Schenk Memorial Forest.
Wake Audubon began taking inventory of Wake County Chimney Swift roosting chimneys in 1985. As the number of such Chimneys decreased, we began developing a plan to provide a safe permanent chimney that could also serve research purposes. That effort led to a partnership with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences that will result in the construction of a roosting chimney on the museum’s property at Prairie Ridge Ecostation.
Monthly field trips have been offered since the chapter’s inception, and all programs and trips are published in the Chapter’s Annual Calendar of Events along with a Meetup group established in 2009. The Meetup group currently has 391 members and has listed over 460 Wake Audubon meetings, bird walks and field trips. In 2009, the chapter also began a Young Naturalist Club for young people aged 12 to 18. The current group of 15 active members is led by adult volunteers and is supported through grants.