About Audubon Vermont
Audubon was founded at the start of the last century - one of America's earliest organizations dedicated to conservation of birds, other wildlife and essential habitat. Audubon has had a grassroots presence in Vermont since the founding of "The Audubon Society of Vermont" in 1901, and has grown to over 4,000 members with 8 volunteer chapters throughout the state. Through the active engagement of volunteers at the grassroots level, Audubon Vermont has played an important role in securing key environmental protection in Vermont through environmental education, science and public policy initiatives. In a state that supports many environmental organizations, Audubon Vermont is unique in its multidisciplinary approach with site-based environmental education and a strong grassroots chapter network at its core.
Audubon Vermont today
Year-round education programs reach thousands of Vermonters of all ages through school, camp, family, and adult programs and workshops, including 4,500 school-aged children. Environmental awareness and education is an ongoing process, not a single event. Centers-based programs are designed to make it possible for a child to explore nature in our pre-school programs, advance to school field trips, spend their summers at day camp, and eventually attend our residential summer camps. Complementing these programs, Audubon chapters throughout the state conduct educational programs and events for their local communities. Across Vermont outstanding staff and dedicated volunteers offer programs year-round to guide Vermonters of all ages along the continuum from appreciation to understanding to stewardship of nature.
Effective grassroots advocacy for the protection of critical habitat
Action is the natural outgrowth of our passion to conserve and protect our environment. Partnership is the best word to describe Audubon's approach to influencing public policy. Our success is based on our ability to leverage grassroots support through our chapters and members and build coalitions and alliances. We also work closely with the national public policy office of Audubon to assure coordination of activities on key national issues. Audubon's grassroots network of activists and science-based, solution-oriented approach to resolving public policy issues have earned the organization a reputation as a thoughtful, reputable advocate for wildlife and habitat.
Science programs building on Audubon's heritage of bird conservation and with an emphasis on citizen engagement.
The Vermont Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is the focal point of these efforts. The program's goal is to identify and protect sites that are essential to Vermont's birds and bird populations. Since its inception in 1998 the Vermont IBA Program has completed the identification of 119 IBAs, established monitoring by interns and "citizen scientists" at eleven IBAs, and created partnerships with other non-profits and government agencies to maintain monitoring efforts on the remaining areas. Through the IBA program Audubon is developing plans that, when completed, will be a blueprint for bird conservation in Vermont. Other projects include the development of a grassland bird management and recovery plan and ongoing efforts to provide stewardship of sanctuaries including wetlands, riparian areas, and islands in Lake Champlain. (Thanks to Audubon's work on the restoration of Common Terns to Vermont, there are now 170 endangered Common Tern pairs nesting on these island sanctuaries, up from 50 pairs in 1988.)
Audubon Vermont -
Our Plans for the Future
Our experience has taught us that successful conservation takes more than just professional expertise; it must penetrate the everyday awareness of citizens to foster a new generation of environmental leaders, bringing about what we call a "Culture of Conservation." Audubon's year-round programs are designed to engage a growing and diverse audience of children and adults in positive outdoor experiences that lay the foundation for a lifetime of caring for and conserving Vermont's environment and its unique natural communities. Our long-term goal in Vermont is to establish a network of Audubon Centers to provide quality environmental education for one in four school-age children annually, protect and restore habitat at over 100 Important Bird Areas and develop a statewide constituency of active conservationists. Our strategy will be to emphasize site-based education, build relationships with individuals and families and engage them in conservation activities through citizen science and advocacy, and create partnerships with other like-minded organizations.