Friday, July 18, 2008

Rolling out a blog...

Can a blog replace an email newsletter to Audubon California chapters?

I sure think so, so I'm rolling out this blog in order to bring fast, direct information and news to you with links, photos, documents, and videos

It's a modern age of communication so let's use it. The 2001 Ad Hoc Chapter Committee of National Audubon identified "communication" as the number one issue between Audubon and chapters. My hope is that this blog will help close that gap.

Not every chapter in the Audubon network has the time or energy to accomplish goals outside of basic monthly meetings, filling the Board, taking folks on field trips to connect them to nature, but if you do want to increase your capacity that is one of the stated goals of my new position as Chapter Network Director. I'm creating a network of chapters to chapters, Audubon California to chapters, and chapters to Audubon California.

Here's how!

There's a new chapter site with

  • Chapter contact info
  • Chapter BLOG!
  • Chapter Grant Opportunities
  • Chapter Resources section with info on Assembly, Council Meetings, Audubon California Board meeting minutes and Committee reports, Audubon at Home, Newsletter Assets for Newsletter Editors and a link to NAS Chapter Services

COMING SOON! More resources including Speakers Bureau for Program Chairs

Click here to go to the site

What else do you need? Send me an email and let me know

California chapters continue to grow...
Audubon recently released a spreadsheet of data compiled from Chapter annual reports for year ending June 30, 2007.

Number of California chapters: 50
Number reporting: 45
Total Gross receipts: $ 3,335,025.32
Total Gross expenses: $ 2,812,619.37
Fund balances: $ 5,993,540.94
Safety net income from Audubon: $ 128,939.53
Collaborative Funding income from Audubon $ 21,613.00*
Chapter members in California: 9,788
Audubon members in California 39,000 apprx.
Total Volunteers at California chapters: 4,925
Total Volunteer hours: 89,087

*not included are Packard shorebird grants to coastal chapters administered by Audubon California

Some pretty impressive statistics here on capacity of chapters ($ 6,000,000 in fund balances! Over $ 3,000,000 in income with around $150,000 from Audubon! That means chapters generated over $ 2,850,000 in income from donations, membership and grants! Chapters also gave 90,000 volunteer hours which translates to $ 1,800,000 in kind donation of volunteer hours if you value at $20/hr). I expect the numbers to go up for year ending June 20, 2008. I know Los Angeles Audubon's numbers did.

Now for the chapter news:

May 1, 2008: 5 chapters of Audubon tour Tejon Ranch

Prior to the signing of the agreement between Audubon California and other resource groups. Kern, Kerncrest, Los Angeles, Pasadena and San Fernando Valley Audubon leaders were thrilled at the ten species of oaks on the property and great views of Golden Eagles, but saddened at the thought that any of it would be developed, especially the Antelope Valley joshua tree and poppy (in full bloom!) habitat in Los Angeles County. All couldn't wait to spend more time poking around in the valleys and corners of this habitat looking for birds, with some discussion of a quest for the Mt. Pinos subspecies of Sooty Grouse which hasn't been seen in decades.

June 19, 2008: San Bernardino Valley Audubon leads the way in local policy changes to combat global warming.

Environment Now gave an award this month to SBVA and Center for Biological Diversity for their litigation against the County of San Bernardino for not addressing the impacts of global warming in their latest plan. The County settled when the State of California Attorney General came in on the side of the local Audubon chapter.

President Drew Feldmann, a jedi in the war against the evil empire, wrote an op-ed printed in the Press Enterprise in response to cries for drilling in Alaska and off California's coast:

June 20, 2008 LA and Pasadena Audubons launch AUDUBON FILM FRIDAYS

Los Angeles Audubon and Pasadena Audubon joined forces with Audubon Center at Debs Park to present AUDUBON FILM FRIDAYS, a series of free nature films outdoors under the stars in East Los Angeles. First film was "Arctic Tale" in Spanish with English subtitles, delivering the message of polar bear, now an endangered species, and global warming. On July 11, students from South Los Angeles' Dorsey High School showed their 3 min film (click here for YouTube broadcast) in Spanish and English on sharing LA County beachs with threatened Western Snowy Plovers, followed by an IMAX film "Ocean's Oasis" on Baja, California, under and above the Gulf of California. Trader Joe's provides free snacks and drinks. Free, outdoor film screenings are a great way to spread the Audubon message to new audiences, especially when accompanied by a bird walk before the screening. Local NPR station KPCC covered the outreach campaign and event and broadcast to 400,000 Angelenos just before the bird walk. Listen

Have news?

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