Warm winter greetings members,
This year has been one for the history books. One focused on the future. We are turning the page toward a new chapter of bird conservation that celebrates urban populations and habitats.
In this issue of EarthCare Northwest, you’ll read about a year’s worth of accomplishments, some decades in the making. Some of our biggest achievements stem from our willingness to accept the tension that comes from change. The decision to leave behind our “Audubon” namesake made waves around the country and here at home. A longstanding science program, the Puget Sound Seabird Survey, found a new home, while our Seattle Bird Collision Monitoring, dBird, and Climate Watch efforts expanded. Our volunteers committed to making all our programs more inclusive through continuing education and conversation at Hoot Camp. We said goodbye to long-serving staff and greeted new ones.
Our members have told us loud and clear, they give to this organization because they want to protect local birds. We know that the fate of birds is inextricably linked to our own. That is why our mission calls us to advocate and organize for cities where people and birds thrive. We are a conservation organization and conservation organizations are only as effective as the coalitions they build for their cause. Thank you for being a part of this coalition and for your investments in our programs, people, and the future.
Mission, Vision, and Values
Seattle Audubon advocates and organizes for cities where people and birds thrive. We envision our local cities integrating and valuing nature, minimizing threats to birds, and protecting habitat.
As a staff-led and volunteer-powered organization, we value: Inspiration, Interconnectedness, Equity and Inclusion, Diversity, Humility, Collaboration, and Science.
Investing in Programs
Seattle Audubon’s 2020-23 strategic plan, “Cities at the Center”, prioritizes urban conservation, equity, and resilience within community science, environmental education, and conservation programming. With more birds and people inhabiting urban areas than ever before, we remain focused on how our work can positively influence the livability of local cities for both birds and people.
We are pleased to share with you, our members, some key accomplishments, milestones, and changes to our programs over the last year.
- Our Bird-Safe Seattle initiative moves into its third year, taking steps to reduce urban hazards for birds with a focus on preventing bird-window collisions and reducing use of toxic pesticides.
- We helped pass new tree protection regulations, including a tree service provider registration bill. We provided leadership on the Urban Forestry Commission, urging greater and more equitable protection of the city’s threatened tree canopy.
- Capitol Hill Connections continues to collaborate with multiple partners on a plan to connect urban habitats, promote biodiversity, and improve people’s access to greenspace in our urban core.
- We succeeded in asking the City of Seattle to issue a Bird-Safe Seattle Week Mayoral Proclamation and hosted a week of online and in-person events for 400+ people to celebrate and protect birds.
- Providing opportunities for youth remains an important part of our strategy to inspire the next generation to love and protect birds. This year, our summer Nature Camp switched to a lottery, providing a more equitable registration process for families, and allowing us to reach more campers than ever.
- Neighborhood Bird Outings returned after a COVID hiatus. It is clear our community loves to get outside and enjoy birds together.
- A rotating Conservation Action Space was added to The Nature Shop retail display so shoppers can better understand conservation topics including bird-window collisions, climate change, and our urban canopy.
- The Puget Sound Seabird Survey (PSSS) has found a new home for its ongoing management of data collection, the Puget Sound Bird Observatory. Seattle Audubon will continue to work to mobilize the valuable data collected so it can contribute to scientific studies related to local bird populations.
- The Neighborhood Bird Project (NBP) expanded to a 10th site, Cheasty Greenspace in south Seattle. This year, NBP volunteers had the opportunity to attend eight free trainings provided by Seattle Audubon to grow their bird identification knowledge.
- We continue to research window collisions in our region, including through dBird.org, an online tool for reporting dead and injured birds. At the annual Audubon Council of Washington meeting, all 24 state chapters agreed to use and promote dBird to help improve our knowledge of human-related bird mortality in Washington state.
Short-eared owl | Kerry Howard | Audubon Photography Awards
Nature Campers | Hanae Bettencourt
Investing in People
It is no accident that our desire for people to thrive, alongside birds, is part of our mission statement. Harnessing the passion and dedication of our community, while also creating welcoming spaces to engage individuals who are just starting their journey with birds will be key to our success. We invested resources in people with additional training opportunities for staff and volunteers, and expanded our outreach methods to bring new bird advocates into our flock.
- Hoot Camp is an inclusive leadership development series launched in November of 2021, which completed its second iteration this fall. All staff and leadership volunteers participate annually in order to gain a shared understanding of current conservation and equity goals, and best practices for creating welcoming, safe spaces for program participants of all backgrounds and abilities.
- In March of 2022, we created a new staff position, Community Director, to continue leading Seattle Audubon on our journey towards a more anti-racist future, and develop relationships throughout thecommunity with groups that share our common conservation and environmental justice goals.
- We understand that multiple barriers may exist to participating in our programs, one of those being financial. We offer our adult classes with partial and full scholarship options, which 145 people selected this year. At Nature Camp 2022, we provided $6,270 in scholarships to children. All Neighborhood Bird Outings, most Field Trips, and many of our other in-person and virtual programs are offered at no cost.
Appreciation & Awards Dinner | Kimberle Stark
Sundaes Outside Event | Glenn Nelson
A celebration of our supporters: Members and donors play a tremendous role in furthering our mission through their generosity and financial investment. Simultaneously, the dedication and passion of our volunteers fuel our programs. Thank you!
Investing in the Future
The area’s most pressing conservation concerns, as well as our community, are changing. With changing needs, we must also adapt our strategies and our programs to address the current and future state of the way we will deliver our mission. The well-being of birds depends on it. We continue to take action and lead with our values, shaping the organization we are today, and the one we want to become in 10, 50, and another 100 years.
- To continue our path toward a more inclusive and anti-racist future, we declared our intention to remove “Audubon” from our name. Aided by the thoughtful input from our community and local affinity groups, we will select a new name that represents our organizational values and mission.
- We continue to raise awareness and advocate for bird-friendly policy changes in meetings with city and state elected officials and decision-makers about urban forest protections, bird-safe building design, and toxic pesticide use reduction.
- Seattle Audubon’s Master Birder program is well known within the advanced birding community. Its COVID pause in 2021 and 2022 provided an unexpected opportunity. A task force has been hard at work to re-imagine and re-invent the program with an equity focus, to provide more opportunities both for participants and instructors. Expected to launch in 2023 with a habitat-centric approach, the new program will serve a larger pool of applicants who want to advance their bird knowledge.
We are here for the birds, for the people, and for nature, not to defend a harmful legacy. We’ve got too much good work to do to let this continue to stand in our way.
Pacific Wren | Keith Wallach | Audubon Photography Awards
As a local, independent, nonprofit organization, Seattle Audubon relies on diverse funding sources including individual donations, membership dues, grants, investment income, and earned incomes like class and Nature Camp registrations and profits from The Nature Shop. These diverse revenue streams provide us with a secure financial foundation.
To all our members, thank you for your financial investment this year! We believe in transparency and accountability regarding how we put your dollars to work in our local community. Complete audited financial statements are available upon request, and more information can be found on our Finance page.
This is a summary of Seattle Audubon’s July 1, 2021–June 30, 2022 audited financial statements.
|Grants & Restricted Contributions||$145,232|
|TOTAL SUPPORT & REVENUE||$1,067,474|
|Funding the Mission||$192,470|
*Includes the work of Urban Conservation, Environmental Education, Community Science, Community Engagement, and The Nature Shop
You’ve already shown you care by being a member of Seattle Audubon. Please consider making an additional year-end gift today to fuel Seattle Audubon’s mission to advocate and organize for cities where people and birds thrive.
Your gift is an investment in the preservation and protection of local birds and habitat for generations to come. Thank you!
Wood Duck | Sharon Wada | Audubon Photography Awards