Chip Notes: May-June, 2016 – The Future of Ethanol
By Greg Burnes, MRVAC President
In 2015/16, through the dedication and hard work of our members and partners, we raised over $8,000 to support a number of very worthy grant requests. Thank you for all of your support and generous giving.
The MRVAC board reviews a number of requests and decided to provide grants to the following organizations. If you are interested in more details, we have posted the entire grant request documentation on the MRVAC website – mrvac.org.
- East Side Neighborhood Services – our grant money will support an in-depth, long-term outdoor experience for 40 or more youth. The summer experience is focused on growing their ability to become stewards of our river valley habitats, lands, water, and cultural heritage.
- Audubon Center of the North Woods – we will continue to support scholarships for youth from the MRVAC area to attend a variety of environmental education experiences.
- Minnesota Landscape Arboretum – we are supporting a youth day camp focused on birds and habitat, as well as an Eco-Adventure Day Camp – specifically providing the ability for the Raptor Center to participate.
- Richardson Nature Center/Bloomington Schools – The Three River Park District is teaming up with the Diversity in Education department within the Bloomington School District and the Minnesota River Valley Refuge to assemble birding backpacks for teachers and families to use. These packs are unique because they will contain educational materials in multiple languages and will be promoted to a diverse audience.
- Izaak Walton League – Many of you know Don Arnosti and the great environmental advocacy work he and his team are involved in. We are providing funds to help support the “Day at the Capital” event that trains citizen advocates to bring critical environmental issues to their representatives.
- Refuge Friends – Every year we support the Refuge Friends to provide transportation for youth to attend a series of educational experiences at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge plus we help fund a summer intern. $2,000 of our grant is double matched by the MN Valley Trust and goes to the Blue Goose Fund that covers transportation costs for the Partner School Program and $1,500 funds an intern.
- Friends of Sax-Zim Bog – We continue to support their actions to preserve prime boreal bird habitat.
Our focus now turns to raising funds in support of the 2016/17 grant requests that MRVAC will support. Our major events are the upcoming MRVAC Birdathon in May (see additional article), our GiveMN day and our annual holiday auction in November. Of course, we are always appreciative of donations any time during the year.
2016 Birdathon Challenge!
Raise money for MRVAC’s educational programs while enjoying a day of birding. Gather up some sponsors, then spend a day between May 1-16 looking for birds. Learn more here. You can also download the PDF sponsor form.
Have you seen ospreys?
The osprey population in Minnesota is growing, and the Twin Cities Metro Osprey Watch needs your help! Learn more.
Raise money for MRVAC while shopping with AmazonSmile
When customers shop on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers. We hope you will select the Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter!
Excelsior Christmas Bird Count (CBC) summary
The folks in Excelsior had record-breaking day, counting 23,356 birds, including 13,030 common mergansers! Read more.
Wintering Golden Eagle survey
Read a fascinating recap of how Midwestern golden eagles have fared this winter. More here.
Old Cedar Avenue Trailhead updates
Work has been moving ahead this winter at the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge site. The City of Bloomington posts regular updates on the construction. Learn more.
MRVAC Grant Requests
We’ll be reviewing grant requests in early 2016. If you know of an organization that fits the mission of MRVAC, read more here.
Join the Environmental Action Committee
Help MRVAC make a difference for birds and wildlife – and the special places we like to visit. Learn more.
Treats needed for upcoming meetings
We always need treats! If you can bring a few dozen cookies, bars or some easy- to-eat snack to share at one of our meetings, please call Robin, the Social Chair, at 612-723-2633 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.