News: St. Louis Audubon receives TogetherGreen grant

Contact: Mitch Leachman
Tel. 314.599.7390
Email: stlaudubon@charter.net
August 1, 2009

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Audubon Society has received a TogetherGreen Volunteer Days Grant to fund a series of volunteer-based habitat restoration projects at Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park. The grant from the National Audubon Society was awarded based on the chapter’s work with volunteers.

Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park is the largest unit of the St. Louis County Park System. It includes 2,100 acres in northwest St. Louis County, with more than 600 acres reserved for natural areas. St. Louis Audubon’s projects will use volunteers to restore wetland and prairie areas of the Park to enhance their value for wildlife and the public.

The chapter chose the Park largely due to its status as an internationally-recognized Important Bird Area (IBA). IBAs are sites that provide essential breeding, wintering or migration habitat to one or more bird species of conservation concern. Creve Coeur Park is one of only three areas so-designated within St. Louis County.

“The marsh at Creve Coeur Park has long been held by birders as the premier example of wetland habitat in St. Louis County,” said Mitch Leachman, executive director of the St. Louis Audubon Society. “However, limited resources at the Parks Department and effects from the development of adjacent highways have threatened to degrade its value and have led to a large number of restoration needs. We hope our efforts can not only enhance the area, but also create public awareness of the wildlife value of the Park.”

The TogetherGreen program, funded by Toyota, is a National Audubon Society effort that aims to provide leadership and opportunities that inspire people to take action at home and in their communities to improve the health of our environment.

The first project day will be a general cleanup on Saturday, September 26, coincident with National Public Lands Day. Registrations will be taken by the Parks Department at (314) 615-8822. Additional project days are being finalized and will extend thru next spring. They will be posted on the chapter and the Parks Department web sites.

St. Louis Audubon will be approaching many of the Park’s user groups for volunteer support, including cyclers, kayakers and disc golf and soccer players. The chapter will also be reaching out to local schools and municipalities for assistance with volunteers.

“A primary goal of this effort is to inspire families, younger generations and new users with passion for birds and other wildlife, and the natural areas like this that they depend upon,” Leachman said.

Mitch Leachman, executive director of St. Louis Audubon, can be reached at (314) 599-7390 or email director@stlouisaudubon.org.

Founded in 1915, St. Louis Audubon became the first affiliated chapter of the National Audubon Society in 1944 and shares its vision to create a community connection to nature through education and conservation. With a focus on birds, St. Louis Audubon provides the general public with field trips, classroom education programs, scholarships, education seminars and funding for habitat improvement projects. Representing over 3,000 members in the 10 county area of Greater St. Louis, it is the largest Audubon chapter in the state of Missouri.

Additional information on Volunteer Work Days.