Audubon in the Parks is an initiative with Audubon New York and the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), its Regional Commissions, Audubon Chapters and friends groups. The goal of this public/private partnership is to advance bird conservation in State Parks, specifically targeting Bird Conservation Areas (BCAs) and Audubon Important Bird Areas (IBAs) with a focus on the management guidance summaries created for State Parks, while also connecting people to these unique sites and advocating for funds to ensure these places and the habitats they support are restored.
Audubon New York’s strategic implementation plan focuses our conservation efforts on the highest priority ecosystems for birds, including grasslands, forests and coastal habitats in the Atlantic Flyway. We continue to guide future partnership activities by working with State Parks staff to identify and prioritize work within parks that will have the greatest impact possible for species of conservation concern within New York’s key habitat focus areas.
Sunken Meadow and Nissequogue River State Parks, Long Island
Four Harbors Audubon Society volunteers work with OPRHP environmental staff to restore native meadows with Long Island ecotypic seeds on a 4 acre Brownfield site, part of the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center, now part of Nissequogue River State Park. Audubon volunteers and their partners are conducting ongoing invasive species removal of mugwort as well as reseeding.
Four Harbors Audubon volunteers maintain American Kestrel and Eastern Bluebird boxes, coordinates invasive species removal workdays, and continues to maintain native display gardens at Sunken Meadows State Park. These demonstration sites not only help to improve habitat at the Parks, but inspire visitors to take similar steps to create bird habitat in their own backyards.
Fahnestock/Hudson Highlands State Park, Putnam and Dutchess Counties
Our Constitution Marsh staff helped conduct ten Golden-winged Warbler surveys this past spring to assess habitats for the presence of this priority species as well as the potential restoration of appropriate habitats and will continue to work with Park staff to assess future monitoring needs.
The grassland management plan that Audubon New York helped develop is being implemented at Green Lakes State Park. Audubon staff is working closely with Park staff on implementing the plan and Onondaga Audubon Society has been an active partner, assisting with the bird and invasive species monitoring at the site. Green Lakes is poised to be the largest intact grassland bird habitat in the State Park system.
Moreau Lake State Park, Saratoga County
Southern Adirondack Audubon Society worked with the Friends group and Park staff on I Love My Park Day to design and build a new bird blind to enhance the pond for bird sightings and provide a new learning tool for visiting school groups.
Fishing Line Recycling Receptacles: Multiple State Parks
Several Audubon chapters have taken on the building, installation, and continued maintenance of “tangle-tainers”, put up around fishing access points to help eliminate stray fishing line that threatens wildlife. The project was initiated at Moreau Lake State Park by Southern Adirondack volunteers in 2012 at five sites within the park, and has expanded to Rockland Lake State Park by Rockland Audubon and Hempstead State Park by South Shore Audubon this past year.
Orient Beach State Park
Our Long Island Bird Conservation Coordinator has been working with a researcher from Saint Johns University to monitor predator threats to beach nesting birds, while North Fork Audubon Chapter volunteers worked with students to install signs to protect plovers. At Orient Beach State Park, Audubon New York has been monitoring and protecting nesting pairs of Piping Plovers, American Oystercatchers, and Least Terns. Audubon staff and volunteers have also been monitoring nesting American Oystercatchers and migrating shorebirds at Jones Beach State Park.
Long Island Bird Conservation Program, For the Birds!, and Be a Good Egg: Multiple Long Island State Parks
For the Birds!(FTB!), Audubon New York’s statewide environmental education program, brings elementary students to Jones Beach State Park and other parks as part of its place-based education curriculum.
FTB! students have created signs for installation at busy beaches and volunteers were on the beach during some of the busiest days of the season urging beach goers to sign a pledge to share the beach with nesting shorebirds.
Audubon partners are currently working in almost 20 state parks and are actively exploring work at over 20 other sites. With 27 Audubon Chapters, Audubon New York staff and centers, and 213 State Parks and Historic Sites located across the state, this initiative is well positioned to have a strong impact on New York’s priority birds and habitats.
For more information contact Laura McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org
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