Each year, the 27 Audubon Chapters in New York are invited to apply for “Chapter Collaborative Funding” – small grants to help initiate or continue local conservation, education, and capacity building projects. The collaborative funding, provided by the National Audubon Society and allocated by our state office after a selection process, is aptly named: it’s a great opportunity for chapters to collaborate with all parts of the Audubon Network, from their own members, sister chapters, the state office, or National Audubon Society programs, with projects related to native plants, invasive species removal, bird blind building projects, or involvement with Audubon New York’s Be a Good Egg coastal stewardship program.
This year, like others before it, has brought forward a number of great projects, including Saw Mill River Audubon Society’s project to host a series of volunteer work days, focusing on enhancing bird habitat their sanctuaries; Onondaga Audubon Society’s plan to install a Purple Martin house and begin Project MartinWatch at their Derby Hill Bird Observatory on the Lake Ontario shoreline; and North Shore Audubon Society’s expansion of their Plants for Birds programming on Long Island, just to name a few. In total, ten great projects around the state will be funded this year through these small grants.
Each year, Audubon New York chooses one Chapter Collaborative project to highlight with the honor of the Norm Shapiro Collaborative Grant Award. Norman Shapiro was an inspiring Audubon leader with his local chapter, Orange County Audubon Society, as well as with the Audubon Council of New York State (the representing body for NY’s Audubon chapters), Audubon New York, and National Audubon. Norm was dedicated to Audubon's conservation mission and personified collaboration and the idea of One Audubon. The chosen project is one that most illustrates that kind of partnership and collaboration. This year, the honor of the Norm Shapiro Collaborative Grant Award goes to New York City Audubon, for their project to build on The Audubon Mural Project in New York City by providing walking tours to help connect the network to this project and the climate change threats our birds face.
Chapter collaborative funding helps to strengthen Audubon partnerships within communities across the state, and we’re always looking for ways to grow the program. For more information about New York Audubon Chapters, click here.