Inspiring actions that protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitats through education, conservation, and research.
Denver Audubon celebrates 52 years of serving our community. Our founders, all of whom were active in the Denver birding community, founded Denver Audubon to meet the need for a broader-based conservation and education organization. Since its inception, Denver Audubon has grown to include over 1,000 supporters, serves over 8,000 children and adults annually through our high-quality programs, and has earned a reputation as a premier science education and conservation steward for Metro Denver and beyond. In 1998, Denver Audubon formed a partnership with Colorado State Parks to establish an Audubon Nature Center at Chatfield State Park.
Instilling an understanding of birds and nature while developing a stewardship ethic are at the heart of the mission of the Denver Audubon. There are also broader benefits to the community in terms of improved physical and mental health for children, adults, and seniors when they watch birds and get outdoors.
Denver Audubon is active in three programmatic areas: nature education, environmental stewardship, and wildlife research.
Nature Education. Denver Audubon offers natural science education classes and field trips at schools throughout Denver and at the Audubon Nature Center at Chatfield. Field-based learning is an excellent complement to classroom lessons. We also offer a variety of field trips and programs for adults and families in Denver and beyond. For adults, we offer a Beginning Birdwatching Class, Audubon Naturalist Training, and Audubon Master Birder training. Beginning in March 2020, we began offering virtual programs in response to the pandemic.
Environmental Stewardship. Conservation activities are led by Denver Audubon's Conservation Committee and our Conservation Coordinator. We work closely with the legislature during session and offer an annual Getting Green Laws workshop in the winter so members can learn about key issues in Colorado, and learn how to work effectively at the city, county, and state level to protect birds and wildlife habitat, support open space, and create responsible development. The major reason we do advocacy: for the benefit of birds and future generations. Where birds thrive, people prosper.
Wildlife Research. Denver Audubon's Lois Webster Fund supports research through this grant program. Each year the fund helps sponsor important research on non-game species throughout Colorado. Through 2021 the LWF has provided $120,071 for 57 projects. Denver Audubon is also involved in bird counts and educating all ages about bird banding at the Audubon Center in the spring.
As we enter our second half century, great things continue to happen at Denver Audubon, and we invite you to support our great work and get involved in our diverse programs.
As one volunteer stated: "Because I am such an advocate for the birds, other wildlife, and habitats, and protecting them for the future, Denver Audubon's mission makes this an organization I want to support with my time - and money. The school programs, family programs, adult classes, and special events all do such a great job of reaching the mission. These programs need continued support!"
Denver Audubon educates youth through our school programs, which could be a one day education program, such as bird migration, or year-long programs such as Birds and Conservation. We are also working with high school students at Collegiate Academy on programs that involve the students in conservation projects in their community. The goals of the education program are to increase the knowledge of individuals' impact on the environment and how individual changes can improve the habitat needed for birds and other wildlife.
Another volunteer stated: "Volunteering with the school programs helps me connect children to nature and teach the importance of protecting birds and other wildlife. I enjoy the wonder and excitement children show when they explore and learn about pond life and birds on the school grounds. Volunteering only takes time, but gives back so much more in the excitement of all who experience birds and nature for the first time - or the umpteenth time."
Our Audubon Nature Center programs, located in Chatfield State Park, have also been successful at educating youth and adults through on-site school programs, nocturnal wildlife hikes, bird walks, adult Birding Insights workshops, and family events such as Bird Banding.
"I have always enjoyed being outdoors but the excellent programs by Denver Audubon have greatly enhanced my lens for looking at nature. With this deeper understanding and appreciation, I have been motivated to share with children and adults my wonder of nature's beauty and advocate for protecting it."
Other examples of our success include the Audubon Master Birder Program and Audubon Naturalist Program - both intense adult education programs designed to train volunteers for Denver Audubon and to be community ambassadors for birds and habitats. We also began offering condensed versions of the naturalist training, both live and virtual. The volunteers assist with Nature Center programs, lead bird field trips, assist with school and family programs, and help with our conservation advocacy. We have also begun offering a Birding without Barriers birding outings.
"I found a rare gem when I discovered the Denver Audubon. I have always loved nature, especially birds. I volunteer with the school programs and lead field trips. How often do you see a small staff and large group of volunteers give their all?! Denver Audubon reaches people from all walks of life. I am proud to support my friends at Denver Audubon."
"Our partnership with the Denver Audubon has been an invaluable experience for both myself and my students. [Denver Audubon] brings hands-on science instruction and resources to our classrooms that would be difficult for our students to get from any other program. Our participation in this program was a crucial part of this year's science instruction, and my students, parents and I couldn't be more thankful for the opportunity!"