Front End Fundraiser March: Friends of the IBA

Healthy Living Market and Cafe is proud to announce this month’s Front End Fundraiser: Friends of the IBA. Please donate what you can to this amazing organization. All you have to do is tell your friendly cashier that you want to donate! They will take care of the rest for you! You can even sign your name on a donation card that will be hung near the front registers of the store.

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Here is some information about the Friends of the IBA from their website:

Friends of the Washington County Grasslands IBA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to raise awareness of and protection for endangered Short-eared Owls and other at-risk birds and their habitat in the Washington County Grasslands Important Bird Area, or IBA.

Education and Conservation remain top priorities as we work to protect our imperiled grassland birds!  Fun and educational events like Winter Raptor Fest and Raptor Rapture create interest in and excitement about at risk birds and their habitat.  Field trips offer residents and visitors the chance to see and explore the IBA – and perhaps encounter some of these amazing birds for themselves!

GOALS: We are working with interested landowners, nonprofits and state and federal agencies to conserve or acquire critical lands in the IBA from willing owners.  Our planned eco-friendly Nature Center will improve the quality of life for local residents while retaining the rural character of the community.  The Center will allow us to expand educational programs, activities, trails and recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors and serve as a focus of bird and nature-related tourism.

EVENTS

Friends of the IBA organizes and co-sponsors two annual events:
Winter Raptor Fest in Fort Edward and Raptor Rapture at the New York State Museum in Albany.   These events offer the public a fun way to learn about the Washington County Grasslands Important Bird Area and its endangered, threatened and at-risk birds as well as the opportunity to see many of the IBA’s native owls, hawks and falcons.  Winter Raptor Fest also serves as a fundraiser to help support program costs and fund our work through the year.

FIELD TRIPS

Friends of the IBA field trips with partners like Adirondack Mountain Club and Hudson Mohawk Bird Club offer nature enthusiasts the opportunity to get out in the field and see this unique grasslands habitat and its amazing birds for themselves! Winter sightings include the state endangered Short-eared Owls, Northern Harriers and Horned Larks, as well as dozens of more common birds.  Spring and Summer field trips offer sightings of grassland songbirds like Eastern Meadowlarks (At Risk), Bobolinks, Bluebirds, Killdeer, Savannah Sparrows and more.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH, COLLABORATIONS

Collaborations with Live Bird of Prey educators from Adirondack Wildlife Refuge & Rehab Center, North Country Wild Care, New York State Wildlife Rehab Council, The Wildlife Institute of Eastern NY and VINS have helped Friends of the IBA reach over 15,000 people in direct attendance at our events and programs since August 2010.

Collaborations with Audubon New York, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and New York  State DEC continue to build interest in conserving the IBA’s at risk birds.  NRCS  Greenwich Office reports,  “as a result of “Raptorfest”, 4 landowners have signed up … 390  acres” under conservation easements.  One of the landowners will manage their parcel solely for wildlife.

Contact [email protected] or call 518-692-9559 for more info.