President’s Message

  Peace River Audubon Society
President’s Message

 

Birding is a common tie that binds most members of the Peace River Audubon Society. However, their passions usually run well beyond birds to a more holistic appreciation for the natural world. Good birding depends on availability of good habitat. Good habitat depends on sound, science-based conservation.

The southeast coastal plain of the United States has increasingly been recognized as an important “global hot spot” for biodiversity. Florida, especially, has an amazing number of both flora and fauna that are rare and endemic to the state. However, there is an increasingly urgent race against degradation and the loss of habitat that these natural treasures require. Supporting the identification and protection of these critical areas is a key mission of the Peace River Audubon Society so that future generations may enjoy them as we have.

Our Conservation Chair works not only with our parent Audubon organization but also with a number of other organizations that identify common goals. As an affiliate member of groups such as the Everglades Coalition, our chapter lends support on state and regional levels. More importantly, most of our “on-the-ground” efforts are directed locally. Public outreach, education, and land stewardship are all components.

In seeking to counteract wild lands loss, we have stressed the development of backyard ‘microhabitats’ through the yard certification program. We maintain a public bird blind and observation area at the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center. The PRAS chapter also serves to sponsor and help maintain Pennington Audubon Park, a popular neighborhood preserve in Port Charlotte. Each year, we award college scholarships to students entering environmental curricula. To reach younger students we sponsor a hands-on school feeder project, fund summer campers at the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center and present programs in the local schools. Perhaps most importantly to our members and public, we conduct a full schedule of popular walks, field trips, and monthly speakers during the winter season.

If you share our passion for Florida’s wild places, your support is critical. The projects mentioned above come to fruition only through member involvement. Although you may already be a member of the National Audubon Society, we encourage you to also become a member of our local chapter and get involved. I think you will find it rewarding…I did!

Ron Mills
President, Peace River Audubon Society

 

 

 

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