Support the Huntley Meadows Park 22nd Annual Birdathon
Tuesday May 8th
Every year on an early morning in the beginning of May, Park staff and volunteers spread out across Huntley Meadows Park (HMP) to count birds. In 1997, an annual survey evolved into an event to remember and honor two exceptional men: Ken Howard and Ed Weigel. Both were volunteers who shared their love of nature with any Park visitor lucky enough to chat with them, inspiring visitors, volunteers and staff. Their work continues to this day through the Park’s Resource Management Internship (RM Intern) funded by the HMP Bird-a-thon. This internship provides a young person with the opportunity to begin a career in conservation and to get hands-on experience in this wonderful Park. Over the years, many on the Board of Friends of Huntley Meadows Park (FOHMP) have had the privilege of interacting with the interns, and we all believe this opportunity has a positive impact on their future endeavors as the next generation of stewards of our parks and green spaces.
Here is what some of the past years’ interns have said about their experiences:
“I got to see the multifaceted nature of wetland management, which has strengthened my passion and knowledge in my field.”
“I have learned [to identify] countless forest, meadow and wetland plant species, and I’ve learned about invasive plant management and herbicides.”
About performing water samples and collecting and identifying macroinvertebrates, “The diversity and amount of organisms I’ve gathered have really surprised me. Seeing the dedication of Huntley’s staff and volunteers continues to inspire me to work harder.”
For more than 20 years, the FOHMP Board has sponsored the Bird-a-thon - that’s more than 20 RM Interns! All who participate in the count thoroughly enjoy their involvement with this fundraiser. Many are repeat volunteers for the event, and some have participated every year! They have counted birds in all kinds of conditions, from cold and rainy, to downright hot. Each year brings a new experience and new numbers, like sighting the all-time high of 108 species in 2004 or searching for one house sparrow to boost our numbers to 90 species. But no matter what happens, the feeling is that it’s always such a treat to be in the Park.
The FOHMP Board requests donations to support this annual event, which funds the yearly RM Intern. Your generous donation will help us reach our 2018 goal of $3,000.
The Board of Huntley Meadows Park
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