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Burrowing Owls. Photo: Jean Hall/Audubon Photography Awards

 

Donor Spotlight: Cheryl Miller

If you’re passionate about conservation, you’ve probably had direct experiences with nature that opened your eyes and made you want to protect it. Those experiences are vital to people on an individual level and for the conservation movement overall. But they aren’t easy for people of all backgrounds to come by. Cheryl Miller, by supporting Audubon Rockies’ Community Naturalist program, is helping change that in southwest Colorado.

For Miller, those experiences were provided by her father. As he grew up in a working-class family in urban California, he didn’t experience wild places as a kid until he was awarded a scholarship to attend a summer camp in the San Bernardino mountains. This inspired him to make sure his children’s lives were full of close contact with nature.

And so, Miller’s childhood was filled with days of exploring the rocky Borrego Desert, picking berries in verdant northern California, and seeing aspen change colors in Colorado, where she eventually moved. There, she met her husband, Bud Miller, who shared her passion for the outdoors and helped her further realize its value.

Bud would spend his entire summers in the forest. “He would see things out there that no one else would,” said Miller, like a reintroduced Peregrine Falcon diving after jays in an aspen grove. Through direct observation, he would see how things worked. “Getting that hands-on experience teaches us in a way that a textbook never could. It reaches deep into the soul, beyond just facts.”

This kind of experience, Miller believes, is essential for people and nature to thrive. “As society moves toward dealing with things like climate change, or air and water quality, or any of these big issues, having that relationship with the outdoors is going to be important,” she said.

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Thank You for Your Support

Using science, outreach, and policy, Audubon Rockies holistically addresses the core threats facing birds in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, but we don’t do it alone. Our thirteen staff are supported by Audubon’s network of 600+ staff, 19 local chapters, dozens of partners, thousands of volunteers, and thousands of donors and funders.

Seventy-eight percent of Audubon Rockies’ revenue comes from individual donors, foundations, and corporate partners. We are humbled by and grateful for your support. Thank you.

Whether you are new to Audubon or a longtime supporter, we invite you to contribute to Audubon’s mission in any way you can. For those who are new, we encourage you to sign up for emails so you hear about our events, action alerts, and volunteer opportunities. And for those who are able, we ask that you make a donation or browse our planned giving options to help us thrive in 2021. Whether you love birds or their habitats, education or advocacy, your gift will make a positive change in the world.

From all of us at Audubon Rockies, thank you for giving birds a voice.

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