Type to search

People, Places & Parks Thought Leadership

2022 is for the Birds

By Jared Teutsch, Executive Director

Despite lingering concerns over the pandemic, 2022 is shaping up to be a great year for Georgia birds. At Georgia Audubon, birds are our catalyst for conservation—easy to see and hear wherever you are—and they provide an entry point into appreciating nature and understanding the challenges we all face to protect our parks and greenspaces, in Atlanta and across the state.

Georgia Audubon is building places where birds and people thrive. Building off of our three pillars of Conservation, Education, and Community Engagement, we use science-based, bird-focused programs to build a conservation ethic in individuals, landowners, businesses, partner organizations, policy makers, and communities throughout the state.

Here are some of our focus areas for 2022:

Habitat Restoration: Over the past six years, Georgia Audubon has worked across metro Atlanta to create a model of bird-friendly habitat restoration at urban greenspaces, such as Deepdene Park, Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, Friendship Forest, and more. Recently, we have expanded our work to state-managed lands, such as Panola Mountain State Park, and to other public nature areas such as Sams Lake Bird Sanctuary in Fayette County and Cooper’s Furnace at Lake Allatoona. We know that Georgia’s birds rely on healthy habitat to find the resources they need during migration, the nesting season, and for overwintering. In 2022, we’re excited to continue our work in Atlanta while expanding our bird-friendly restoration work to Georgia’s coast, beginning with maritime grass restoration on Jekyll Island in collaboration with the Jekyll Island Authority and other partners.

Migration Forecasting: Last fall, Georgia Audubon launched a new conservation tool to predict nightly migration of birds over the state, allowing us to send alerts across the state for nights of high migration intensity in order to provide safer passage for our migrating birds. When spring migration begins in a few months, we’ll be sending out alerts and encouraging individuals and businesses to reduce outdoor lighting to ensure safe passage for our migrating birds.

Making Birds and Birding Accessible for everyone: In 2022, we’re strengthening our partnership with the accessible birding organization, Birdability. Through a series of Virtual Birding Field Trips hosted via Facebook Live with guest leaders from across the country, we’re showcasing how individuals with mobility challenges are exploring their local greenspaces and enjoying the birds around them. We’ve also launched Georgia Audubon’s first series of in-person Adaptive Birding Trips to accommodate people who experience mobility challenges in the outdoors. Finally, our Bird Beyond Initiative is enabling us to prioritize our engagement in communities that have previously been underrepresented in avian community science. We’re working with local organizations, leaders, and community groups to engage our resources in ways that are relevant for each community—in places like Adams Park, Historic Washington Park, and Grove Park. 

Connecting Students with STEM Through Birds: After a brief pandemic-related pause, Georgia Audubon has resumed its successful Connecting Students with STEM through Birds program, adding three more Title I Atlanta Public Schools to the program. Heritage Academy (elementary), Crawford Long Middle School, and South Atlanta High School have all been added in the past year and additional schools are in the works for 2022.  As part of this program—provided at no cost to each partner school—a bird-friendly STEM garden is installed on campus with the help of students and teachers. At each of the three schools, more than 100 students participated in the installation of a bird-friendly native plant garden on the school campus, transforming areas of dirt and turf grass into wildlife habitat. In addition, each school receives training for teachers to provide lesson ideas and curriculum resources to enhance their use of the new outdoor classroom, and this spring, as the gardens are beginning to bloom, we will return to deliver a class set of binoculars for the school and provide another hands-on day of learning for students.

In metro Atlanta and across the state, Georgia Audubon is working to create healthy spaces for birds and people, too. Healthy habitats, including parks and greenspaces, that support birds and other wildlife create healthy communities that we all can not only enjoy, but that we need for our own survival.


This is sponsored content.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.