Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The grant program is modeled after the success of the program conducted by Mendocino Coast Audubon that resulted in a published children's book as well as signs.
The funding is provided as part of the Audubon/Toyota Pennies for the Planet program of Together Green with additional funding from a family foundation, and was dreamed up by Audubon California's Science, Seabird and IBA team.
Audubon California has announced that Morro Coast Audubon and Redwood Region Audubon will receive grants totalling $10,000 in the 2010 California State Parks grant funding program for chapters.
The program was inaugurated in 2009 following the sale by Audubon of the McVicar property in Clear Lake to California State Parks. The funds received from the sale were placed in an Audubon California endowment for annual grant funding for partnership projects between California chapters of Audubon and California State Parks staff to restore habitat, monitor populations of birds, or reach out to a new conservation constituency in California State Parks, with preference for projects in Important Bird Areas or that help a species of bird that is at risk. The inaudugural grant was awarded to Sequoia Audubon for a partnership project with Ano Nuevo State Park to restore habitat on Cascade Creek to benefit riparian species especially Common Yellowthroat.
Morro Coast Audubon will partner with Morro Bay State Park in monitoring succession of habitat from field to coastal sage scrub by monitoring the species of birds that migrate to the habitat using a MAPS monitoring program. The chapter will receive $2500 and will match with $2500 in chapter funds to launch the project.
Redwood Region Audubon will receive $7500 to partner with Humboldt Bay State Park to restore potential breeding habitat for Western Snowy Plover, and attempt to attract to the birds to the habitat.
The next request for proposals for the next round of California State Parks grants will be issued in late spring 2010, and will be posted on the Grant Opportunities page of the Chapter Network site here
This year Audubon California had a record $51,239.65 in funding requests for outreach, education, and habitat restoration and monitoring, with $ 177,105.91 in secured or possible matching funds. We got proposals from 11 chapters, or 23% of the chapters in California.
The bad news is that due to the recession the budget approved by National Audubon Board for fiscal year 2009-2010 contains a reduction in Collaborative funding of 50% for this round. This October surprise caused us to rethink the projects and our selections, and delayed our announcement until December.
In consideration of the reduction in funding, our Selection Committee, in line with prior recommendations from Audubon California Board Chapter Committee, added some additional criteria in our selection process. We decided to eliminate chapters that have received Toyota Together Green, foundation, state agency, or previous Collaborative grant funding for the same project, or chapters whose projects were good candidates for foundation, state or federal funding such as Prop 84 or the MigratoryBird Partnership, and focus on chapters that are smaller, don’t usually apply or might not have other potential sources of funding, and that are willing to match the grant with their own funds.
This added criteria caused us to reluctantly eliminate some remarkable projects that we wholeheartedly support such as Pasadena Audubon’s trail signage in a new City of Pasadena park, Mendocino Coast and Morro Coast’s wonderful programs on Western Snowy Plovers, La Purisima’s engagement of the community at the Santa Ynez River estuary, San Diego Audubon and Los Angeles Audubon’s world class Education programs, the three chapter partnership between Fresno, San Joaquin and Stanilaus Audubon to create a birding trail map of the San Joaquin River, and Santa Barbara’s Eyes-in-the-Sky raptor education program, all of which are more than deserving of funding.
With only $ 13,000 to award, Audubon California has selected the following projects to receive Collaborative Funding grants for 2010:
Buena Vista Audubon $ 2,000 (with a match of $2,670 in chapter funds) for an outreach program aimed at three local colleges to engage a new conservation constituency.
Sierra Foothills Audubon $5,000 (with a match of $4,919.50 from chapter funds) to restore riparian habitat for the benefit of Yellow-breasted Chat and Yellow Warbler on the Traylor Ranch Sanctuary and Nature Preserve in the Sierra Foothills Important Bird Area, and to provide an education program for youth from Placer Nature Center
Wintu Audubon $ 3,000 for construction of artificial burrows for Burrowing Owl in Shasta County to help an at risk species.
Yolo Audubon $ 3,000 (with a match of chapter funds from Yolo, Sacramento, and San Joaquin Audubon) to help plan and present a symposium in 2011 on conservation concerns surrounding the Delta vision process with focus on species and habitat at risk in an Important Bird Area.
Congratulations to these four chapters and their leaders.
Next round of Collaborative Funding grants will be announced in Spring, 2010 on the Chapter Network Site. Go here.