The tallgrass prairie is the most endangered ecosystem in North America. It once extended from Nebraska to Indiana; but today, only two percent remains. As the prairie has vanished, so has its birds. When declines in forest birds, shorebirds, and grassland birds are compared, grassland birds have suffered the steepest losses at 53 percent.
This is where we drive positive change. Our youth education programs cultivate tomorrow’s conservationists. Our engagement programs across the state encourage people to take action by using native plants in their yards and become advocates for the environment. At our sanctuaries, we steward the prairie and river watershed so they can host birds, other wildlife, and native plants, while also cleaning our drinking water. Our centers are also home bases for collaborative experimentation with landowners in how to best manage large landscapes.
In order to solve our greatest environmental challenges, we need to educate the next generation about the beauty and importance of natural places and empower them to steward and protect ecosystems in the future. Through our inquiry-based education programs, we provide opportunities for young people to experience nature first hand, to learn about nature by being in nature.
We aim to create the next generation of effective conservationists by sparking in them an interest about our natural spaces and bird habitats, by inspiring them to take a step back and appreciate what’s around us—and what’s worth protecting. Within our education work, we look to:
- Expand our programs to more communities and audiences throughout Nebraska
- Provide equipment and technology assistance for our staff and volunteers
- Maintain and increase resources for essential program needs
- Provide ongoing support for Audubon Nebraska’s Plants for Birds programs and habitat restoration work
- Purchase equipment needed for prescribed fires, invasive species management, and restorations
- Research declining bird species and their changing migration patterns to better address their recovery; tag and expand tracking of Harris’s Sparrow and Pinyon Jay, among others