Indiana Audubon Society has been awarded a $13,400.00 grant from the Efroymson Family Fund for education and research projects currently being planned and implemented in the coming months and year. The programs being funded include:
Indiana For the Birds!
Beginning in 2018, Indiana For the Birds will provide Indiana bird educational materials to 50 classrooms throughout the state. In addition to materials, each classroom will receive bird feeders and bird seed to monitor and study the birds found right on the school grounds. Select schools will also be introduced to live birds in the classroom
Mapping for the Birds: Home Sweet Home
Through technology and STEM, Indiana Audubon Society will help students use modern observation and data collection skills to assess habitat needs for both migratory and breeding birds, as well as identify potential bird habitat and needs within the community. Utilizing a fusion of Project Flying WILD, eBird.com, and Birds without Borders, IAS seeks to invite students to its 700+ acre Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary to explore the diversity of habitats that the preserve provides for breeding and migrating birds. Students will begin with an aerial view of the landscape habitats and bird needs provided in each habitat, as well as an introduction to 12 species of common birds native to the landscape. Integrating eBird spatial maps, showing bird movement and congregation based on habitat requirements, students will begin to understand the importance of habitat, not only on a local level, but regionally and across a species’ entire range.
Through investigative discovery, students will seek out the biological community in the wetlands at Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary. These indicators will determine water quality and predict the various species capable of living at Mary Gray. Study periods will also investigate the bird life found along Indiana’s wetlands, marshes, and swamps.
Learning About Birds
People are disconnected with the natural world in part because they lack understanding of and connection to science and scientists. The National Science Board (2002) reported that 70% of Americans do not have a basic understanding of the scientific process. Using ornithologists and banders as ambassadors of conservation, IAS will reach out to students and families to connect with the natural resources around them. The capture of birds in mist nets presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate science-in-action to a wide variety of audiences while at the same time generating valuable scientific information on bird populations.
Motus Tower Project
The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is a collaborative research network that uses coordinated automated radio telemetry arrays to study movements of small animals. Motus is a program of Bird Studies Canada in partnership with Acadia University and collaborating researchers and organizations. In 2018, Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary will install the first Motus tower in Indiana and begin placing special bands to detect bird movement long after they have left their breeding grounds at Mary Gray. The initial project will focus on Wood Thrush movements.
In 1998, Dan and Lori Efroymson established the Efroymson Family Fund. The fund continues a long legacy of charitable commitment by the Efroymson family in Indiana. Since Dan’s passing in 1999, Lori Efroymson-Aguilera and their two children, Jeremy and Elissa, have continued the family’s philanthropic legacy in Indianapolis and across the United States by providing financial support to a diverse range of issues including arts and culture, historic preservation, the environment and helping those in need. To date, the Efroymson Family Fund has awarded more than $100 million in grants.
“Indiana Audubon Society is pleased to be a 2017 grant recipient,” said Brad Bumgardner, IAS Executive Director. “This funding represents a small portion of the current and planned projects Indiana Audubon Society is working on. We look forward to expanding our efforts in both conservation and education.”
Those wishing to match this grant funding may donate or gift the society on it’s website.