As I write this article, the beauty that surrounds us every day in nature astounds me. I am enjoying a male American Goldfinch hop around our peach tree. Coincidentally, that peach tree in our front yard was planted five years ago in honor of our firstborn. Since then, our family (and hearts) have grown with three children. With that being said, to further the Habitat Hero program and its mission, I am making the difficult choice to step back from my career and focus on family life, which will allow for someone else to fulfill this role at Audubon Rockies to continue strengthening the Habitat Hero program.
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have been given as Habitat Hero coordinator. Audubon’s commitment to conservation is truly awe-inspiring and I have enjoyed my time with this flock, which has been my home since December of 2014. Since then, the program has grown by leaps and bounds, reaching more than 20,000 people directly via our 475+ workshops. We have certified more than 370 Habitat Hero gardens. We’ve trained a robust volunteer network of more than 720 Wildscape Ambassadors, volunteers who receive training to promote bird-friendly, native gardens in their own communities.
What drove this program was the community, volunteers, and partners; I value all of your support. You all showed a passion for creating bird habitat in your own gardens and truly brought conservation home, one garden at a time. It would be tough to describe all of our accomplishments at length, whether it was installing a healing garden at a sexual assault victim facility, creating a living fence at two solar garden sites, or even hosting keynote speakers at our events like Douglas Tallamy and Ed Begley Jr.
One notable success story was the planting of an urban garden on Fort Collins Old Town Square. We had hummingbird mint still in the pot while we were giving the planting tutorial and a Broad-tailed Hummingbird came buzzing in. We all were just in awe. It was the perfect example of “if you plant it, they will come.”
So what’s next? Although we do not have the specifics or timeline for filling my position, we will still be processing new Habitat Hero applications. Over the years we have compiled great resources to guide you on your bird-friendly gardening journey. Until our events resume, browsing these resources will assist you.
Audubon Rockies will continue to make conservation wins, but birds need your voice and your gardens more than ever. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this team. I look forward to seeing how this program continues to flourish.