The word citizen was originally included in the term citizen science to distinguish amateur data collectors from professional scientists, not to describe the citizenship status of these volunteer observers. Today, however, it is important for us to recognize that the term has become limiting to our work and partnerships in some contexts.
Audubon welcomes everyone who finds delight in birds and nature. As part of Audubon’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, we have transitioned from using the term “citizen science” to the more inclusive term “community science.” No matter where a volunteer was born, or how they came to the United States, we value their contribution to our science and conservation programs. Citizenship, or the perception that a volunteer may or may not be a citizen, certainly isn’t a prerequisite to caring for birds.
Furthermore, participation in volunteer data-collection initiatives like the Audubon Christmas Bird Count and the Great Backyard Bird Count are, at their best, communal experiences that bring us together as a caring community of people who are inspired by birds and want to protect them. The term community science better reflects these social and relational realities.
Read more about Audubon's statement on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion here.
We're two banding sessions into the season, and we've already had a handful (literally) of species visit our nets (the skulkers came out to play for sure!): White-crowned Sparrows, Bewick's Wrens, Hermit Thrushes, Lincoln's Sparrows, Bushtits, Spotted Towhees, Anna's Hummingbirds, and the list is growing!
For our bird banding study, we are not only interested in migratory and over-wintering birds, but mainly in our resident/nesting bird species. Are they simply surviving or are they thriving? What does that say about the health of Debs Park ecosystems overall? Help us answer these questions as we collect data during our banding sessions every Tue morning from 7am-11am. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org- space is limited!
We had a great time revamping Rattlesnake Park last Saturday, Feb 24th! Shout out to our awesome volunteers and MRCA, who helped clean graffiti off signage, weed, and mulch the park to prepare the area for the planting native plants. Join us for our next pocket park event on Sat 3/17, 9am-12pm at Steelhead Park as we continue to revitalize wildlife habitat along the LA River!
On February 18th, we hosted the first annual Adam's Forge Festival- it was on fire! The festival had something for everyone- food and drinks, hot steel team striking, copper fold-forming, forging demos, an “Ask a Blacksmith” booth, a kids tomahawk toss, and kids clay forging activities. It was a great turn-out and Adam's Forge was able to raise $9000 for their new building! The money raised was part of their 2018 capital funding campaign to purchase a new building as a permanent home, expand class offerings and do more community outreach. Adam’s Forge is one of only a handful of organizations of this type in the country, and with the help of its community, will continue to thrive. Looking forward to next year's festival!
Check out more pictures from the festival here!
We had an epic Great Backyard Bird Count this year! On February 17th, over 30 volunteer birders helped to spot and count 41 bird species and 798 individual birds! Wowee! Did you know Debs Park is home to over 140 bird species? Let's keep countin'! Join us for Bird Walks every 2nd and 3rd Saturday of the month, 8am-9:20am.
Check out the GBBC 2018 global results here!
What a treat is was to have artist, poet and naturalist Obi Kaufmann present on his book, The California Field Atlas! On February 12th, he presented his book at the LA Audubon monthly meeting for Audubon affiliates and Northeast LA community members. His presentation covered the book's unique organization and cartography, and explored the larger role of what he calls geographic literacy and its crucial role in the fight to defend the natural world of California.
On Saturday, January 27th from 9:30am-11:30am, families came together for some outdoor exercise and exploration as they hiked from the Audubon Center to Peanut Lake at the top of Debs Park! Following the hike, inspired by nature and their experiences on the trail, parents and kids got creative with some arts and crafts!
Our Family Hikes + Nature Arts & Crafts will take place the last Saturday of each month from 9:30am-11:30am- don't miss our next one on Feb 24th!
We send out periodic emails about programs, events, and volunteer opportunities at the Center.