Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Birdathon 2011 and the Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Project

It's that time of the year again, when birders all over central Texas brave the humidity and heat of Texas spring to get out and count birds for a cause. Migration season is in full swing and it is possible to see over a hundred species in one day, especially with the keen eyes of our own local Travis Audubon super birders! This year, you can help the Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Project by pledging a Birdathon team.

Each year, Ed Fair and his Bird-a-Thon team "Gone Pishing" head out to count birds in central Texas. On May 7th, 2011 he will be heading out with three other seasoned Audubon birders in order to see how many species can be sighted within a single county - Travis County. This year, all the funds raised by Ed for his Birdathon team will go directly to the Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Project.

This is a critical time for the project. Now that the plant and wildlife surveys have been completed, it is time to get to the business of removing invasive species, prepping the land for seeding, and the seeding itself. While most of the funds needed for the project have been raised from a combination of generous private donations and grant money, the project is still shy of its projected budget. The funds raised by the Birdathon team will help to put the restoration project in full swing!

If you would like to help with the project by sponsoring the "Gone Pishing" Birdathon team, just send us an email at commonsfordpro@gmail.com. Let us know how much you would like to pledge per species. Once the Birdathon is complete, we will calculate your pledge based on how many species were counted. Last year Ed's team counted 148 species, just to give you an idea of how much to pledge! Alternatively, you are also welcome to simply make a donation in any amount that works for you! Cash, check and credit card donations are accepted. No amount is too large or too small, because everything and anything helps!

Good luck to all of the Birdathon teams! Your passion for wildlife and conservation is what makes projects such as the Commons Ford Grassland Restoration Project possible!

Patagonia "Voice Your Choice" Update

On March 26, Patagonia held an in-store voting day, allowing three organizations to compete for grants from the "Voice Your Choice" program. Set up in the very front of the store was the Commons Ford Restoration Organization booth manned by project volunteers. The team members diligently worked to get as many customers as possible to vote for the project.

In the end all the hard work, handshaking and project pitching paid off. The Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Organization was successful in landing enough votes to receive a $1,500 grant from Patagonia! The grant money will go directly towards funding the restoration project which will begin in earnest this summer.

Thanks to all of you who came out to vote that Saturday afternoon! And thanks to Patagonia for supporting projects like ours with their generous "Voice Your Choice" grant program.