IBA Volunteer Conservation Days
Volunteer Conservation Days
A project of the Georgia Important Bird Areas Program
Volunteer Conservation Days were established to match an important need to a valuable resource. While land managers throughout Georgia can evaluate which conservation tool best suits an area, they often lack adequate help. Under shrinking budgets, most organizations and agencies are unable to fill vacancies or even have to lay off skilled staff. Most Wildlife Management Areas have only one staff position, and some WMAs even share a single person. State Parks are in a similar situation. Unfortunately, applying for grants to cover the cost of machinery, equipment and supplies is easier than hiring people. Thus ironically, many managers find that they have all the tools needed to do the work, but donít have the people to do it.
Meanwhile, interest is increasing among birders and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts in helping to make a positive difference. Most do not have special training and so feel that they have little to offer; however there are many important jobs that require more interest and energy than specific skills. With a little oversight and minimal training, a group of eager people can make an enormous difference.
So far volunteers have contributed to three very successful Volunteer Conservation Days. Participant ages ranged from 4 to over 70, and volunteers report that they had fun and learned while helping out. In exchange, biologists have been assisted in collecting enough grass seed to restore several acres of grassland, and have seen many hundreds of Chinese Privet bushes removed. Neither task could have been accomplished without many energetic hands!
Volunteer Conservation Days will be conducted across Georgia, approximately every other month. While they are primarily designed to help birds, we look for projects which are likely to benefit a wide array of species. If you would like to participate, or if you have a suggestion for a Volunteer Conservation Day, please contact:
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