For Connecticut Audubon Society, 2012 was a year of accomplishments, milestones, celebrations and conservation successes. Here are 18 reasons why. Follow the links for details.
- We restored 28 acres of rare coastal habitat at Stratford Point, in collaboration with Sacred Heart University and the DuPont Corp.
- We completed a management plan for Aspetuck Land Trust that balances conservation and public recreation at Aspetuck’s 1009-acre Trout Brook Valley preserve
- Working with state wildlife biologists, we confirmed the presence of rare New England Cottontails on our Richard G. Croft Memorial Preserve, in Goshen, and we continued a restoration project to improve 15 acres of cottontail habitat there.
- As part of the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbird Conservation, we monitored and protected scores of nest sites on the shore for vulnerable Piping Plovers, American Oystercatchers and Least Terns
- We established Science In Nature as the foundation of our conservation education program, and brought 500 students from Bridgeport, Fairfield and Trumbull to our Larsen Sanctuary to inaugurate the program.
- At our Center at Pomfret, we created a Master Naturalist Volunteer Training Program designed to educate a corps of volunteers to support our facilities as well as educate our citizenry as conservation stewards for the state at large.
- We completed the first phase of our Grassland Bird Habitat exhibit at the Center at Pomfret – a spectacular grassland mural painted by Amy Bartlett Wright that has become an integral part of Pomfret’s education program.
- Welcomed 475 Bridgeport students for a day of outdoor education at the Center at Fairfield, thanks to a grant from the John Patrick Flanagan Foundation Trail Blazers program.
- We released our Connecticut State of the Birds 2012 report, “Where Is the Next Generation of Conservationists Coming From?”
- We organized five community forums (in Pomfret, Glastonbury, Milford and Fairfield, and in Old Lyme with the Old Lyme Land Trust and the Lyme Land Conservation trust) and began a statewide discussion of the need for more and better outdoor nature experiences for children.
- We worked in Hartford to support and help pass a major revision of Connecticut’s open space preservation law.
- We drafted and helped pass a new law to increase the penalties for illegal hunting on our sanctuaries.
- We welcomed at least 60,000 visitors to our five centers (Fairfield, Birdcraft, Milford Point, Glastonbury and Pomfret) and to Trail Wood, our Edwin Way Teale Memorial Sanctuary, in Hampton.
- With dozens of volunteers and community members, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of our Center at Glastonbury
- We restored the special use trails at the Larsen Sanctuary and Birdcraft Sanctuary in Fairfield, and restored the special use boardwalk at the Milford Point Coastal Center, thanks to a grant from the Wheels In the Woods Foundation.
- We continued to participate in a cooperative project monitoring migratory bird populations in Cuba. (EcoTravel)
- We expanded the trips we offer to new locations such as Ireland and Tuscany. (EcoTravel)
- We provided custom tour itineraries to places such as Machu Pichu and the Galapagos Islands for Connecticut Audubon Society members. (EcoTravel)