DIY Garlic mustard Pulling Instructions

Are you entertained by the thought of grown adults 1) using words like “timberdoodle,” “peep,” and “butter-butt”; 2) imitating owls at 6 am; or 3) birdwatching competitively?

If so, please support the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy’s “Land Larks,” a team of conservation professionals who dedicate one very full day to chasing birds around southwest Michigan!

Birdathon Update . . . two days to go!

We still have a ways to go to meet our fundraising goal of $5000 toward building a new boardwalk trail at Bow in the Clouds Preserve. And with the cost of lumber through the roof, we need your help!
As an incentive and as a thank you for your support, anyone who sponsors the SWMLC Land Larks and pledges at least $1 per bird species observed, will have the opportunity to join an exclusive guided nature walk and “sneak peek” of a not-yet-open nature preserve with a SWMLC naturalist! We will schedule several walks later this spring and summer to help ensure that everyone who qualifies will be able to join one of these walks.
The annual Southwest Michigan Team Birdathon is here again, and “teams” from around Michigan (each representing a different organization) will be participating in this conservation fundraising event on Saturday, May 15, 2021.
The Larks this year will be represented by Dave Brown (SWMLC Stewardship Specialist), Ashley Cole-Wick (Conservation Biologist with Michigan Natural Features Inventory), and Mitch Lettow (SWMLC Stewardship Director).
Our goal this year is to raise funds to construct a wetland boardwalk at one of SWMLC’s most popular preserves – Bow in the Clouds in Kalamazoo! Not only will this new boardwalk offer great opportunities for birders and other visitors to get close up looks at yellow warblers, swamp sparrows, green herons, and wood ducks, the boardwalk will be integrated into a larger barrier-free trail system that seeks to ensure that this preserve can be enjoyed by people of all abilities.

Here’s a breakdown of how Team Birdathon works, with an additional twist new for 2021:

♦  Each birdathon team collects “pledges” from conservation supporters (SWMLC members, family, friends, the UPS driver, etc.)
♦  These pledges can come in 2 forms:
• A flat donation (“I’ll donate $50 for conservation.”)
• A per species pledge (“I’ll give those lunatic Land Larks $1 for every species they find.”)
♦  The Land Larks will wake up well before dawn (to listen for woodcocks, owls, and garbage trucks that sound like owls when they back up) and look for birds until 7 pm that evening in a defined area.
♦  In years past, that defined area has been limited to Berrien County, but a “southwest Michigan option” has been added this year – opening the field to birds across all 9 counties in the SWMLC service area! As a challenge for the Larks, and a testament to the value of SWMLC nature preserves, we will be driving around our service area and only counting birds seen at our preserves!
In the past, the Larks have seen 115-135 species in a day in Berrien County (so a $1 pledge would be $115 – $135 tax deductible donation) – but this year, with the rules changing, we have no idea how many species we’ll find!

Whether it’s the idea of building community access at SWMLC preserves, celebrating bird conservation at our preserves, or even just supporting highly caffeinated birdwatchers embarking on a small adventure, we hope you will be inspired to support the Land Larks!

Please click here to make a flat donation.

To make a per-species pledge, please send an email with “Birdathon” in the subject line.

We’ll follow-up with you after Birdathon is over to let you know how many species the Land Larks observed at SWMLC preserves, and to report on exactly which species they saw!

Find out more about Southwest Michigan Team Birdathon 2021 on their Facebook page.

Keep up with the Land Larks’progress throughout Birdathon (Saturday, May 15) by watching for their real-time updates via SWMLC social media “stories” (Facebook and Instagram)!

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