Conservation and Community

The Audubon Society of Portland is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the education, understanding and protection of native birds, other wildlife and their habitats. The organization connects most strongly with Tree for All through its Community Science Program, which uses trained volunteers to carry out a variety of bird and wildlife surveys that help professionals better understand the natural history, ecology and biology of birds and their habitats.

We want to build a constituency of people across the Portland Metro area and across the state that are supportive of conservation, showing how projects, like at Wapato Lake and at Fernhill, actually benefit wildlife and benefit people, too.
— Joe Liebezeit, Portland Audubon

Portland Audubon is a key partner at Fernhill, where a series of collaborative projects addresses water quality for Washington County residents while creating and expanding a variety of emerging wetland habitat types benefiting birds and other native wildlife. In collaboration with Clean Water Services, Portland Audubon manages a cadre of volunteer birders to perform year-round avian surveys at Fernhill and enter their findings into Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s worldwide aviation database, eBird. with both community science eBird data and intensive bird surveys, we will have a much better understanding of how Fernhill contributes to healthy and diverse bird populations.

Another Tree for All project that requires Audubon’s community science expertise is the large-scale wetland restoration enhancement site at Portland’s Rock Creek Community College campus. Audubon will conduct both professional-level and community science eBird surveys to engage the public while documenting which bird communities are present at the site and how they are responding to habitat enhancement efforts.

For more than a decade, Audubon has been part of the Explorador community summer camp program led by Bienestar Community Development Corporation. Through Explorador camps, Latino youth and their families enjoy safe, nature-based adventures in the outdoors. Audubon education staff have teamed up with their counterparts at Clean Water Services, Bienestar and Adelante Mujeres to incorporate community science into the Explorador program.

Portland Audubon strengthens Tree for All’s capacity in several key areas, including scientific research, community engagement and volunteer management. Whether taking a science-based approach to understanding and appreciating birds or creating kid-centered opportunities to love birds and wildlife through fun activities, the end result is a deeper connection to the natural world.