Joel Greenberg on Passenger Pigeon

John James Audubon's portrait of a male and female passenger pigeon is the best know of any for the species. His classic The birds of America included 435 hand-collored plates and was released in four volumes between 1827 and 1838. These were accompanied by five volumes of text entitled Ornithological Biography. (From the collection of Garrie Landry). Courtesty of Bloomsbury USA, New York  Publisher. Joel Greenberg, author talk on "A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon's Flight To Extinction" at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. New Haven, CT. March 12, 2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup.

John James Audubon’s portrait of a male and female passenger pigeon is the best know of any for the species. His classic  The birds of America included 435 hand-collored plates and was released in four volumes between 1827 and 1838. These were accompanied by five volumes of text entitled Ornithological Biography. (From the collection of Garrie Landry). Courtesy of Bloomsbury USA, New York Publisher. Joel Greenberg, author talk & book signing on “A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight To Extinction” at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. New Haven, CT on March 12, 2014.

Pigeon Rivers, Gone, But Not Forgotten.

On a recent late winter evening, in the magnificent lecture hall at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, we learned first hand about author Joel Greenberg’s fascination with the Passenger Pigeon. Mr. Greenberg has complied all that he could unearth on this subject into a book. A Feathered River Across the Sky by Joel Greenberg is a beautiful hardcover book published by Bloomsbury USA New York, that relates almost everything that can be pulled from historical sources on “The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction.” The Connecticut Audubon Society and The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies jointly sponsored this talk. CAS President Alexander R. Brash introduced the speaker.

Joel Greenberg, author talk on "A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon's Flight To Extinction" at School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. New Haven, CT. March 12, 2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup™

Joel Greenberg, author talk & book signing on “A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight To Extinction” at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. New Haven, CT on March 12, 2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved.

It is a bit sad to realize that everything that is known about this bird that can be uncovered by a skilled and determined researcher can be contained in 286 pages including extensive notes, references and color plates. Martha, the last of her species died in 1914, 70 years before her death, there were most certainly in excessive of a billion Passenger Pigeons winging over the skies of Eastern North America.

Range Map of Passenger Pigeon. Joel Greenberg, author talk on "A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon's Flight To Extinction." at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. New Haven, CT. March 12, 2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup™ 

Range Map of Passenger Pigeon. Joel Greenberg, author talk & book signing on “A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight To Extinction.” at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. New Haven, CT on March 12, 2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved.

A few of the points from his talk about his book stood out and remain with me today. A John James Audubon contemporary recorded in his journal a flight of pigeons that darkened the sun and was continually moving overhead for a period of 4 days; extrapolation of the numbers from this passage produces a staggering figure in the billions of birds just in this one flock. They nested in huge concentrations. One of the last mass nesting contained perhaps a million birds, it was the last one observed and they were commercially extinct shortly there after. Trains and the telegraph made it possible for commercial harvesters to relentlessly follow the rivers of protein and deliver steady train-loads of barrels of pigeons to food markets in big cites.

Shooting Wild Pigeons in Northern Louisiana is based on a sketch by smith Bennett and apppeared in the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News of July 3, 1875. Schorger consedered this picture to be particularly accurate (From the collection of Garrie Landry). Courtesy of Bloomsbury USA, New York Publisher. Joel Greenberg, author talk on "A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon's Flight To Extinction" at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. New Haven, CT. March 12, 2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup

Shooting Wild Pigeons in Northern Louisiana is based on a sketch by smith Bennett and apppeared in the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News of July 3, 1875. Schorger consedered this picture to be particularly accurate (From the collection of Garrie Landry). Courtesy of Bloomsbury USA, New York Publisher. Joel Greenberg, author talk & book signing on “A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight To Extinction” at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. New Haven, CT on March 12, 2014.

The life history and nesting habits of these birds were never studied. Few laws were passed to protect the species and any that were arrived to late to have an effect. The Passenger Pigeon was perhaps the most numerous species of bird on earth certainly in it’s day, it spoke to the richness of the North American ecosystem. However the living ecosystem even then was undergoing dramatic change by the hand of man through drainage of wetlands and loss of forests, and the pigeon was over and out by the time before anyone knew what was happening. Would such abundance even be allowed today; would it be classified as a pest in need of control?

l to r. Alex R. Brash President, CT Audubon Society, Joel Greenberg, author talk on "A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon's Flight To Extinction" at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. New Haven, CT. March 12, 2014. ©Mardi Welch  Dickinson/KymryGroup™All Rights Reserved.

l to r. Alex R. Brash President, CT Audubon Society, Joel Greenberg, author talk & book signing on “A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight To Extinction” at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. New Haven, CT. March 12, 2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup™All Rights Reserved.

Clearly there are modern lessons from this extinction to be learned and applied if we have the moral conviction and fortitude to fight such battles in the face of apathy and financial interests. We only have to look at the “commercial” fish in the world’s oceans, once too vast to count, now dwindling to commercial extinction in many fisheries. Yet the unsustainable harvest goes on, after all there are people to feed and of course money to be made. Similarly but less obvious is the migrant bird loss proven without a doubt by the alarming studies began by Sidney A. Gauthreaux of Clemson who determined from spring radar studies from 1960’s to the 1980’s that the number of Neotropical migrants crossing the Gulf of Mexico were reduced by half during that period. Now you might say that there are still lots Neotropic migrants left, but losing perhaps one half of the avifauna flooding into North America in a short 20 years ought to set off alarm bells. Why are we not screaming for action? With such apathy, the question concerning modern Passenger Pigeons such as the fishes and common birds is will we do something or will our children be reading about another tragic loss in a hundred years that could have been prevented and wonder why nothing was done.

Audience member reads a poem she wrote about the Passsenger Pigeon Joel Greenberg, author talk on "A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon's Flight To Extinction" at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. New Haven, CT. March 12, 2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

Sharon Sweet, poet, reads her poem about the Passsenger Pigeon. Joel Greenberg, author talk & book signing on “A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight To Extinction” at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. New Haven, CT on March 12, 2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved.

There were other Passenger Pigeon enthusiasts in the room such as poet Sharon Sweet.

Joel Greenberg, author booking signing and talk on "A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon's Flight To Extinction" at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. New Haven, CT. March 12, 2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup™ All Rights Raserved.

Joel Greenberg, author booking signing and talk on “A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight To Extinction” at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT on March 12, 2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup™ All Rights Raserved.

Joel’s remarkable summary of the flight to extinction that saw the Passenger Pigeon’s population plummet from billions to zero in 40 years ought to make us think about our responsibilities today to those critters where it may not yet be too late to help. Get tough and regulate the fisheries. Make North America safe for migrants. Turn off the lights in your cites, consider where you place your wind turbines, and towers. Cover your toxic lakes. Promote contiguous forest patches. Create migrant safe zones all along the route to the breeding areas. Watch your application of any chemicals to the land and, most of all act responsively

Passenger Pigeon specimen. Ectopistes Migratarus North America. Coll. W.F.H. Rosenberg Edgwaro England 5591 from the Peobody Museum of Yale University.  Joel Greenberg, author talk & book signing on "A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon's Flight To Extinction" at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. New Haven, CT. March 12, 2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved.

Passenger Pigeon specimen. Ectopistes Migratarus North America. Coll. W.F.H. Rosenberg Edgwaro England 5591 from the Peobody Museum of Yale University. Joel Greenberg, author talk & book signing on “A Feathered River across the Sky. The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight To Extinction” at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT on March 12, 2014. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup™ All Rights Reserved.

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Six Giant Wind Turbines Threaten Great Lakes Bird Migration Corridor

I am very disturbed by what continues to develop in one of my beloved areas of the birding world. It is my deep concern that lead me to post this press release. We can all spread the word loudly and help our friends in NW Ohio fight this serious problem.

Northwest Ohio is an important bird migration flyway that is a crucial stop over for millions of migrating birds to feed, rest and refuel to continue there long journey to their nesting grounds or the reverse commute back home for the winter.  If this problem on WRONG LOCATION of Wind Turbines in Northwest Ohio continues to be ignored, we may never see any migrating birds ever again.  This would be a monumental disaster! ~ Mardi Welch Dickinson

MEDIA RELEASE

Bird Groups Raise Alarms over Wind Industry Installation of Six Giant Wind Turbines in Critical Great Lakes Bird Migration Corridor. Letter to Feds Charges Wind Industry with Ignoring Voluntary Federal Guidelines.

Washington, D.C., (March 3, 2014) American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) charge that millions of migrating and federally protected birds, including an active Bald Eagle nest, will be threatened by an Ohio wind development currently under construction. The concern was raised in a letter sent this week to federal officials.

Photo ©Owen Deutic Breymaiser (contributed)

Photo © Owen Deutic (contributed)

The groups say that a local business park is attempting to install six massive, 300-foot-tall wind turbines in the same area of Ohio that saw a single large Air National Guard-proposed wind turbine project shelved just last month by federal officials because that project did not comply with major wildlife conservation laws. The site for both projects is Port Clinton, Ohio, on the southern shore of Lake Erie.

According to the February 26 letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, “… this wind energy project is being built by the developer, SUREnergy, with no Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) ever being conducted, and with no consultation whatsoever with any state or federal natural resource agency. ABC and BSBO are concerned that this project represents an even greater threat to our public trust resources than the turbine that was planned for Camp Perry, and encourages the Service to look into this project in more detail, and take decisive action as appropriate.”

The letter says further that, “If this poorly sited facility is being built in the absence of any EA, any permitting process, or any consultation with state or federal wildlife authorities, then it clearly represents another failure of the current voluntary permitting guidelines to protect our public trust resources. Whether on public or private land, our native birds and bats are not owned by the for-profit wind industry, but are owned by the American people and held in trust for current and future generations.”

According to Dr. Michael Hutchins, Coordinator of ABC’s national Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign, “We support wind energy development in places where impacts to birds and other wildlife can be minimized. However, these turbines are being built in one of the top five most important bird migration corridors in all of North America. The area is also home to the highest concentration of nesting Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states. It is likely not possible to dream up a worse scenario for birds, including threatened, endangered, and other protected species.”

“The geography of the region and the reluctance of migrating birds to cross Lake Erie before resting and feeding create a funneling effect for millions of North, Central, and South American migrating birds,” said Kimberly Kaufman, Executive Director of BSBO. “It is appalling to think that massive wind turbines can be constructed in these globally important bird areas without any wildlife review whatsoever. Projects like these are an example of the failure of our country’s voluntary guidelines to protect birds even in the most sensitive areas.”

ABC has created a Wind Development Bird Risk Map that shows the Lake Erie shoreline in Ohio is among the worst possible locations for a wind power project.  “Once again, it is hard to reconcile the wind industry’s claims to being ‘green’ when we see that the clear intent of some developers is to carry on without regard to impacts to wildlife and the environment,” said Hutchins.

ABC and BSBO led a petition campaign that acquired over 5,000 signatures in opposition to the earlier wind turbine project at Camp Perry. Together, they filed on January 8, 2014, a formal Notice of Intent to Sue the Air National Guard (ANG), charging that a proposed turbine in the area was being built in violation of several major conservation and wildlife protection laws, including the Endangered Species Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Image showing the proximity of wind turbine to Bald Eagle nest,  Port Clinton, Ohio. Photo   ©Terry Breymaiser (contributed)

Image showing the proximity of wind turbine to Bald Eagle nest,
Port Clinton, Ohio. Photo ©Terry Breymaiser (contributed)

 A letter from the ANG Director of Installations and Mission Support agreed, stating that: “After carefully considering your objections … I have decided to withdraw the FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact) for the project effective immediately. … Since the FONSI has been withdrawn, the project will not go forward at this time.” The letter was dated Jan. 28 and was signed by Colonel Peter A. Sartori, Director, Installations and Mission Support.

ABC and BSBO asserted that the placement of the project at the Camp Perry facility—and those proposed for the surrounding areas—presents an extremely high risk to migrating songbirds, especially the federally endangered Kirtland’s Warbler. This imperiled species was nearly extinct less than 40 years ago and, while rebounding due to costly and intensive management efforts, still numbers only in the low thousands. Additional birds at risk include other migrating songbirds, raptors such as Bald Eagles, Piping Plovers, and waterfowl. Also of concern to local residents is the possibility that projects like these may discourage birding tourism. Currently, more than 50,000 visiting birders inject $37 million into the local economy every spring.

ABC’s efforts to establish Bird-Smart wind energy in the U.S. are made possible in part by the generous support of the Leon Levy Foundation.

image003American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. ABC acts by safeguarding the rarest species, conserving and restoring habitats, and reducing threats, while building capacity in the bird conservation movement.

image004Black Swamp Bird Observatory is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit whose mission is to inspire the appreciation, enjoyment, and conservation of birds and their habitats through research, education, and outreach.

Posted in Conservation, Environmental, Global Birding, Magee Marsh, Northwest Ohio | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Audubon Greenwich Educator Receives National Award

Long standing and good friend Ted Gilman, senior naturalist and education specialist at Audubon Greenwich, is the 2013 recipient of the Tamar Chotzen Audubon Educator of the Year award.

This award couldn’t of been given to a more deserving and dedicated person in education and wildlife conservation.  Congratulations Ted! ~ Mardi & Townsend Dickinson.

Immediate Release below:

Ted Gilman with National Audubon Staff from Audubon centers in Greenwich, Sharon, Southbury. (contributed)

Ted Gilman with National Audubon Staff from Audubon centers in Greenwich, Sharon, Southbury. (contributed)

GREENWICH, Conn. (February 21, 2014) – The National Audubon Society announced that Ted Gilman, senior naturalist and education specialist at Audubon Greenwich, is the 2014 recipient of the Tamar Chotzen Audubon Educator of the Year award. The surprise announcement took place at a banquet at the Grange Audubon Center in Columbus, Ohio, where Gilman was celebrated by his colleagues from around the country.

The Tamar Chotzen Audubon Educator of the Year, bestowed since 2006, is named in honor of a pioneer of Audubon’s conservation education programs. Tamar Chotzen, Audubon’s Vice President of Centers and Education from 1999-2005, led the organization’s efforts to grow its network of centers across the country. The endowment that provides the funding for this annual award was created through a gift donated in her name in 2005.

 Gilman was first hired in 1974, as a birdlife instructor at Audubon’s Camp on Hog Island in Maine, where he continues to teach ornithology. While working on his master’s degree in environmental education at Cornell University –where he was roommates with Stephen Kress, founder of “Project Puffin” and Vice President of Bird Conservation at the National Audubon Society– he received an invitation to apply for a staff naturalist position with Audubon Greenwich. He left Ithaca to pursue what he hoped would be his dream job and he has been living that dream for 37 years.

Ted Gilman with Chandra Taylor Smith, VP of Community Conservation and Education for National Audubon Society. (contributed)

Ted Gilman with Chandra Taylor Smith, VP of Community Conservation and Education for National Audubon Society. (contributed)

 Today, there is nothing Gilman finds more satisfying than when he recognizes in a child that same “bug,” as he calls it, for birds that he experienced as a young naturalist.  Many of his students from his early years now return with their children to experience walks with Ted.  One such student is Michelle Frankel, now center director at Audubon Greenwich, who participated as a teenager in the Audubon Greenwich Summer Ecology Workshop for Educators; a program that was under Gilman’s leadership for over two decades and influenced hundreds of educators around the country.

“Though I was not a teacher and by far the youngest participant, it was a formative experience for me that led the way for me to devote my life to wildlife conservation. I had never before encountered someone so deeply knowledgeable — and passionate — about nature as Ted. It is my great, good fortune to be able to continue to learn from Ted as a colleague each and every day,” says Frankel.

If you would like to have the opportunity to meet Ted Gilman or book a special private “Ted Walk” nature tour, visit Audubon Greenwich or check the online calendar at http://greenwich.audubon.org.

# # #

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Happy New Year 2014!

Sanderling soaring into the New Year! Nantucket Island  MA. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Sanderling soaring into the New Year! Nantucket Island MA. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Wishing everyone Happy New Year 2014!

Mardi & Townsend Dickinson

 Auld Lang Syne by Mairi Cambell and Dave Francis

Posted in Happy New Year 2014, Nantucket Winters, Shorebirds | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hoo Hoo Hoo Merry Christmas!

Snowy Owl, 1st year male, on jetty, late afternoon, 11/11/2008, Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk, CT. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy Owl, 1st year male, on jetty, late afternoon, 11/11/2008, Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk, CT. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Mardi & Townsend Dickinson

O Come All Ye Faithful Click here

 

 

Posted in Christmas Holidays, Natural History Phtotgrapher | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Recognized by USFWS

Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases partners gathered at West River Memorial Park in New Haven Connecticut, to celebrate the honor of seeing the Urban Oases project in the New Haven Harbor Watershed, designated as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service., and to be recognized as a national model for community-based conservation on Wednesday, October 30, 2013.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe and Northeast Regional Director Wendi Weber unveil the designation sign with students from Common Ground High School and Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroupAll Rights Reserved. National Wildlife Refuge Partnership, West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe and USFWS Northeast Regional 5 Director Wendi Weber unveil the designation sign with students from Common Ground High School and Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School. Designation Ceremony of Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Program as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30, 2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Director, Dan Ashe, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,  Region 5 Director, Wendi Weber; came to town for this ceremony, designating Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Program in New Haven as one of only eight Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships in the country!

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe and Northeast Regional 5 Director Wendi Weber with the New Haven Parks, Recreation and Trees Staff at the Audubon Connecticut  Urban Oases Program Celebration. National Wildlife Refuge Partnership, Barnard Nature Center, West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30.2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe and USFWS Northeast Regional 5 Director Wendi Weber and Chief of Northeast National Wildlife Refuges, Scott Kahan with the New Haven Parks & Recreation and Trees Staff at the Designation Ceremony of Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Program as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30.2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

Per Dan Ashe, Director, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Services “National wildlife refuges are the best of America’s wild places, but many are not near major metropolitan areas. Most Americans have grown up without a real connection to the outdoors and wildlife, and the Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative gives us a chance to change that. We believe these unique urban partnerships can inspire the imagination and create a connected conservation constituency of people who are aware, understand and support fish and wildlife conservation.”

Dan Ashe, Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service, takls to a full house at  Audubon's Connecticut's  Urban Oases program celebration. Barnard Nature Center, West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

Director Dan Ashe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, talks to a full house at the Designation Ceremony of Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Program as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30, 2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

Stewart J. Hudson, Vice President & Executive Director, Audubon Connecticut said “Audubon believes that where birds thrive, so do people. Through land stewardship, habitat creation, citizen science, youth employment, green jobs training, innovative education programs and natural history interpretation, the partners in our New Haven Urban Oases program are working to create a network of wildlife-and people_ friendly natural refuges in parks, school yards, and front yards throughout the City.”

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Regional Director Wendi Weber addresses partners, school students, and local neighborhood groups at the New Haven Harbor Watershed Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership designation.©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved. National Wildlife Refuge Partnership, West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30, 2013.

Wendi Weber, Director Regional 5, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast; Addresses partners, school students, and local neighborhood groups at the Designation of New Haven Harbor Watershed Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. West River Memorial Park, New Haven CT on October 30, 2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

Stewart J. Hudson, Vice President & Executive Director of National Audubon Connecticut. addresses partners, school students, and local neighborhood groups at the New Haven Harbor Watershed Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership designation.  ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved. National Wildlife Refuge Partnership, West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30, 2013.

Stewart J. Hudson, Vice President & Executive Director of National Audubon Connecticut; Addresses partners, school students, and local neighborhood groups at the Designation Ceremony of Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Program as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30, 2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

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The Service’s Urban Refuge Initiative was launched to increase awareness, understanding, and support of the USFWS, the National Wildlife Refuge System, and natural resource conservation.  In keeping with those goals, Audubon Connecticut’s New Haven Urban Oases program is a collaborative effort to create a matrix of high quality habitats for birds and wildlife, engage children and youth in hands on conservation while providing new educational opportunities, and enhancing public and private spaces throughout the City.

Students from The Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School  reads a letter of thanks and talks about the importance of what this Urban Oases means to them. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved. National Wildlife Refuge Partnership, West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30, 2013.

Students from The Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School reads a letter of thanks and talks about the importance of what this Urban Oases means to them. Designation Ceremony of Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Program as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30, 2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe elaborates, “We must reach out into our cites to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to develop a true connection with wild things and wild places.  Our Urban Wildlife Refugee Partnership will help us engage communities where we haven’t had much of a presence.”

Michael Bruno, a graduate of Common Ground High School speaks about the influence the partnerships in New Haven have had on him. Audubon Connecticut  Urban Oases program celebration. Barnard Nature Center, West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT. October 30. 2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

Michael Bruno, a graduate of Common Ground High School speaks about the influence the partnerships in New Haven have had on him. Designation Ceremony of Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Program as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT. October 30. 2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

Common Ground High School students listen in to fellow student, Michael Bruno.

Students of The Common Ground High School listen & laugh as they hear fellow student and friend Michael Bruno speak at the Audubon Connecticut  Urban Oases program celebration. Barnard Nature Center, West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT. October 30. 2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup.All Rights Reserved.

Students of The Common Ground High School listen & laugh as they hear fellow student and friend Michael Bruno speak at the Designation Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Program as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT. October 30. 2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

In May 2013 the New Haven Harbor Watershed partnership competed nationally for recognition under the Fish and Wildlife Services’ Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative. The designation is a formal recognition of excellence. It took a virtual army of volunteers from at least seven regional and national organizations. Their work is ongoing and the funding secured so far enables the partnership to continue with plans to expand their efforts.

The partnership received one of 33 education and outreach grants awarded by the Long Island Sound Futures Fund this year. Audubon Connecticut  Urban Oases program celebration. National Wildlife Refuge Partnership, Barnard Nature Center, West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30.2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

The partnership received one of 33 education and outreach grants awarded by the Long Island Sound Futures Fund this year. Designation Ceremony of Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Program as an Wildlife Refuge Partnership. West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30.2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

New Haven Harbor Watershed Program partners include: Audubon Connecticut, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (with Director Dan Ashe and Region 5 Director Wendi Weber), EPA Long Island Sound Study, City of New Haven Public Schools and Department of Parks, Recreation and Trees, New Haven Park Friends Groups, Common Ground High School and Environmental Education Center,  New Haven Urban Resources Initiative, Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and community partners.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe and Northeast Regional 5 Director Wendi Weber and USFWS Staff. Audubon Connecticut Urban Oases Program Celebration. National Wildlife Refuge Partnership, Barnard Nature Center, West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30.2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe and Northeast Regional 5 Director Wendi Weber and USFWS Staff. Designation Ceremony of Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Program as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30.2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

Students from Common Ground High School and Hill House High School help plant trees and maintain gardens at schools, park, vacant lots and public and private front yards.

Students from Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School performed a tree planting  at the Audubon Connecticut  Urban Oases program celebration. Barnard Nature Center, West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT. October 30. 2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/  KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

Students from Common Ground High School and Hill House High School, performed a tree planting at the Designation Ceremony of Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Program as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30. 2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

National recognition of a promising partnership brings smiles to the faces of some of the key partners and all who attended this celebration could sense the pride of achievement for all those who worked so hard to make this happen.

Audubon Connecticut and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff. Audubon Connecticut Urban Oases Program Celebration. National Wildlife Refuge Partnership, Barnard Nature Center, West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30.2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

Audubon Connecticut Staff and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Staff. Designation Ceremony of Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Program as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30.2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

Stewart J. Hudson, Vice President & Executive Director, Audubon Connecticut congratulates local New Haven students who each read a short piece of creative writing on what the Urban Oases means to them. It is evident that Mr. Hudson and Audubon Connecticut are deeply committed to the partnership and the promise of the future. Audubon Connecticut has brought lofty conservation ideas and is implementing them on the local level in a big way. If the considerable efforts expended so far are any indication,  the New Haven Harbor Watershed, Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be in the national eye for years to come. We all have something to gain from efforts like these.

If your intertested in Part 1 Click here. Urban Wildlife Oases in New Haven CT.

Stewart J. Hudson, Vice President & Executive Director of National Audubon Connecticut. With students of the Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School. Audubon Connecticut Urban Oases Program Celebration. National Wildlife Refuge Partnership, Barnard Nature Center, West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30.2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

Stewart J. Hudson, Vice President & Executive Director of Audubon Connecticut. With students of the Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School. Designation Ceremony of Audubon Connecticut’s Urban Oases Program as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. West River Memorial Park, New Haven, CT on October 30.2013. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

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