EAST OZARKS AUDUBON SOCIETY
The East Ozarks Audubon Society encompasses the Missouri counties of St. Francois, Iron, Madison, Ste. Genevieve, Reynolds and Washington. The chapter is an affiliate of the National Audubon Society and the Audubon Society of Missouri. The chapter also works closely with “Audubon Missouri,” the state agency of the National Audubon Society.
Membership in the East Ozarks Audubon Society can be attained in one of two ways: (1). by joining the National Audubon Society, which entitles the member to receive the bimonthly award-winning Audubon magazine published by National Audubon, along with the bimonthly newsletter published by the East Ozarks chapter; or (2). by paying a $10.00 membership fee to the Chapter, which entitles the member to receive only the bimonthly Chapter newsletter.
Chapter meetings are held on the third Tuesday of January, March, May, July, September and November of each year. All meetings are held at the Farmington Public Library. A social is held at 6:30 with the program following at 7:00. Members of the general public are invited and always welcome at the meetings. Meetings include programs presented by experts in natural history, including programs about birds and animals, Missouri forests, areas of geological and/or historical interest, conservation areas, and wildlife management practices. The quality of chapter programs has always been superb.
“Birds Eye View,” the chapter newsletter, is published in January, May, and November. It is distributed by mail to local members and to state and national Audubon organizations. The newsletter includes a calendar of events and field trips, updates on upcoming projects, a review of pending legislation, news of environmental concerns, and regular bird reports.
The Dr. F.R.Crouch Nature Sanctuary, located at Engler City Park in Farmington, is one of the featured projects of the Chapter. The Sanctuary consists of some 35 acres of woodland with trails, a wildlife observation blind, and bird feeders regularly stocked by the Chapter. The Sanctuary represents a “migrant trap” which attracts a variety of neotropical bird species during spring and fall of each year. It also boasts many species of wildflowers typical of the eastern Ozarks.
The Chapter regularly provides nature programs to area school classrooms and to local organizations. Schools also participate in “Audubon Adventures,” a classroom project sponsored by the National Audubon Society, and “Project Feederwatch,” a birdfeeder survey sponsored by Cornell University. Some area youngsters are involved in area “Stream Team” projects, including cleanup of streams and monitoring the quality of water through acid rain testing.
Since 1980, the Chapter has played an integral role in the nationwide Christmas Bird Count, sponsored by National Audubon Society. This all-day bird survey is held at nearby Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, and helps to provide data on wintering and migrating birds within North America. Chapter members made significant contributions to the Missouri Bird Atlas Project sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Other members provided articles for publication in the “Guide to Birding Areas of Missouri,” a publication of the Audubon Society of Missouri. Chapter volunteers have also joined with the World Bird Sanctuary (a St.Louis-based organization) to release endangered Barn Owls and transport injured raptors for rehabilitation.
Our Chapter’s Conservation Committee has been long-recognized throughout our State for playing a prominent role in educating the public about environmental concerns. A regular column in the Chapter newsletter is devoted to identifying these concerns and offering constructive solutions. Our Committee maintains regular contact with legislators and governmental agencies. The Chapter also coordinates “Earth Day” programs in the spring of each year.
Besides maintaining the bird viewing blind at Engler City Park, some Chapter members are active in local, state and nationwide birdwatching, or “birding” events. Chapter field trips include opportunities to locate and identify birds within our Chapter territory and beyond. The Chapter has several members who have recorded as many as 600 bird species in the United States, and at least three of our members are among the statewide “top ten” in number of bird species recorded.
Operating funds for the chapter are divided into three accounts: (1). regular account; (2). sanctuary account; and (3). Important Bird Area (IBA) account. The regular account is financed from the chapter share of membership fees paid to National Audubon Society, local fund-raising projects, public contributions and proceeds of an annual “Birdathon” event held each spring. The sanctuary fund is financed by donations and special fund-raisers. The IBA fund is earmarked for monitoring and improving local sites designated as “Important Bird Areas” due to their impact on particular bird species.
Responsibility for the affairs of the Chapter is vested in the offices of president, vice president, treasurer and secretary. A six-member board of directors guides Chapter policy. Eleven committees have been established to implement Chapter objectives.
-Conserve wildlife and life-support systems of the natural environment
-Promote rational strategies for energy development and use, stressing
conservation and renewable energy sources
-Protect life from pollution, radiation and toxic substances
-Further the wise use of land and water
-Speak for the public interest in public lands and water
-Promote awareness of and actions to solve global environmental problems