ABOUT THE INDIANA AUDUBON SOCIETY
Indiana Audubon Society’s mission is to engage communities in the enjoyment of birds in their habitat, through conservation, education and research.
The Indiana Audubon Society is the oldest conservation organization continuously operating in Indiana, and the fourth oldest “Audubon” in the country. It is not a chapter of the National Audubon Society, but actually an independent statewide organization that predates the National Audubon Society. It was organized to stimulate interest in birds and their protection; to serve the needs of youth, civic, church, schools and other groups by providing information concerning birds; and to educate the public concerning the necessity for conserving and preserving Indiana’s natural heritage, its unique flora and fauna.
Founded in 1898, the IAS is dedicated to fostering the appreciation of migrant and resident bird species that are present in Indiana and other regional areas of the world. The organization also strives to support educational efforts that will promote future generations continuing this tradition in perpetuity. Appreciating the aesthetic contributions that birds provide is an important mission of the Society. Additionally, recognizing that bird species populations are important monitors of the global ecological status, they provide Society with additional motivation for the formal documentation of birds present in the region during various seasons of the year.
To advance this purpose, the IAS conducts field trips across the state and holds its state meetings at various locations in Indiana. IAS’ success through the years has been because of so many people who’ve come together to share their love of Indiana birds. We would not be here today without the commitment of so many members and volunteers. It’s your passion that has propelled us to develop a wealth of wonderful programs that benefit Hoosiers and avifauna alike. Together, we can educate others and share the joy of birding with everyone in the state. We hope you will join us again along the way. Click Here to read the current Strategic Plan. You can also message us to receive a complimentary copy of this plan by mail.
In the 1940’s, the IAS received a gift from Alice and Findley Gray of Connersville, Indiana. The Grays donated their land in Fayette County, Indiana to the Society in memory of their daughter Mary. This property is named the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary and now encompasses over 700 acres of managed habitat that includes mature woodlands, established prairie, ponds, wetlands and fields in various stages of succession.
Trails, meeting space, primitive campgrounds and beautiful seasonal variations bolster the IAS’s mission to promote avian appreciation. Meetings and festivals of the IAS are held at Mary Gray at different times of the year and throughout the state. The Sanctuary is supported by individual donations made to the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary, an endowment, and funds held through the Fayette County Foundation in Connersville, Indiana. The Society utilizes the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary to collaborate with regional colleges and universities to conduct biological research concerning flora and fauna in Indiana and their intricate relationships.
The property has also been utilized for school groups, college classes and summer outdoor educational programs for area youth. Collaboration with local non-profit and service organizations also promotes the mission of the Indiana Audubon Society by sponsoring meeting space at Mary Gray.