Chip Notes: January-February, 2015
By Greg Burnes, MRVAC President
Happy New Year Everyone – I hope you had a great holiday season and 2015 is looking bright. The beginning of the year is traditionally a time when we look back and celebrate our successes and plan for the New Year.
There are so many people to thank for a successful 2014. We offered a number of engaging and entertaining events at the refuge, held over 60 field trips to all parts of the state, and have successfully raised both dollars and volunteer hours that allow us to continue our positive impact through youth educational programs and important research activities. Each of these activities will have a huge impact on the quality of our outdoors for years to come. Thank you!
Looking forward to 2015 we would like to build on these great accomplishments. Here is our wish list for 2015 – we would love to hear from each of you to better understand what you would like to see MRVAC focus on in 2015.
Youth Birding Festival: We have kicked around the idea of starting a youth bird-a-thon in 2015. We have a number of ideas and possible paths forward. Please contact me if you have an interest in helping.
Bloomington River Valley Trails: It appears that changes will be coming to the trails along the Minnesota River Valley. Members of our board have been tracking these discussions. We are being pragmatic and focusing on influencing how these trails are planned and implemented. Please get engaged.
Successful Membership Building and Fundraising: I know none of us like raising money, but these funds are very important to the engagement of our youth in the outdoors and birds in particular. If you think of the billions of dollars being spent by TV, computer and the gaming industries to keep our kids inside, glued to a screen, any amount of time we can spend volunteering or moneys we can give counteracting this influence is desperately needed. Meet 1/22 from 6:30-7:15 pm at refuge Visitor C.
Better Connections: To garner a more diverse and larger community we need to provide more connection points to MRVAC. This can be done through better printed materials we make available at events, a better social media presence and more interactive communications. The board is going to consider an updated communication strategy in 2015. If you have skills in these areas and would like to help support the great folks already helping us, please drop me a note.
Above all, we want to wish you health and happiness in 2015. See you out there!
Fire codes affect seating in Refuge Visitor Center auditorium
At upcoming MRVAC meetings (the 4th Thursday of the month, during the school year) you may be asked to fill up empty seats or move in towards the center to allow others to sit down in the auditorium. We cannot bring in extra chairs and sit in the back when the room starts to get crowded, due to fire regulations.
Please help us comply with the rules and allow us to continue meeting at the Visitor Center by switching seats if necessary and by not carrying chairs into the auditorium. Thanks.
Meeting: Fundraising Ideas
Do you have ideas about how MRVAC can raise funds for our educational pursuits? Attend a meeting on Thursday, January 22 from 6:30 to 7:15 (before the January Woodcock program). Learn more.
Raffle! Win a fine feathered sculpture
MRVAC has received a stunning bird sculpture from Edward Senninger to assist us in raising funds to support our youth educational and research grants.
To meet this goal we are selling raffle tickets at the Christmas Bird Count Supper in December and at the January and February Refuge Meetings (and on-line – from the MRVAC web site, use the GiveMN link to the right). Learn more.
Minnesota’s New Important Bird Areas
The Important Bird Area program is designed to identify, monitor and conserve the most essential habitats for birds. Audubon focuses its education, advocacy, conservation and stewardship efforts in these areas.
Three new Important Bird Areas have been added in Minnesota, bringing the grand total to 57. Read more.
2014 Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC)
Participate in the 115th annual CBC, plus join other counters and MRVAC members for a potluck soup supper. Learn more.
Book Review: A Love Affair with Birds
The book is a biography of the life and times of Thomas Sadler Roberts, a physician, ornithologist and one of the founders of the Bell Museum of Natural History. For most Minnesotans his contribution to the natural history of our state is largely unknown. Read all about it.
Change the Glass Now!
New Vikings stadium deadly for migrating birds
The Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis has partnered with award-winning filmmaker and producer Jim Gambone in the making of this short and informative film. The clear glass called for in the stadium design will be deadly for migrating birds. But it’s not too late to change the design and incorporate bird-friendly glass.
Take action! Make a phone call and tell our leaders to “Change the Glass Now!”
- Michele Kelm-Helgen, Chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority: 612-335-3319
- Governor Mark Dayton: 651-201-3400
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 the September or October meeting, please call Jan at 952-858-8604.