As I walked on the boardwalk last week, watching the cypress leaves fall and the swamp become starkly beautiful as winter approaches, I was reminded of the quiet beauty of this magical place. I was also reminded of our mission, which is to protect birds and the places they need, like Beidler Forest. My colleagues and I are stewards of this landscape, with its complex cultural and natural history. As we come to the end of a year that has brought so much pain and sorrow to the world, I am reminded of the healing powers of nature. Your tax-deductible donation is critical to fulfilling our mission.
So, as we approach this Giving Tuesday, we at the Beidler Forest Audubon Center find ourselves feeling thankful. We’re grateful to have dedicated members, volunteers, and supporters (like you!) who love this place as much as we do. Because of your support, we’ve been able to:
- Make the boardwalk accessible over the last two months so that visitors could take advantage of fall migration in the swamp to see birds like the American Redstart, Wood Thrush, and Winter Wren.
- Open more than two miles of free hiking trails for the public, seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset. Located near the entrance to Beidler, this new trail system meanders through Longleaf Pine, grassland and woodland habitats that Audubon South Carolina is restoring giving visitors the opportunity to explore a new part of the sanctuary that is home to Painted and Indigo Buntings in the spring and a diversity of sparrows in the winter.
- Conduct research on our priority birds at Beidler, including Prothonotary Warblers and Painted Buntings. We also were able to continue the fourth year of our banding station on the sanctuary as part of the national Monitoring Avian Productivity & Survivorship (MAPS) project. This important program informs our understanding of nesting birds across the continent.
- Continue our important land management work on the 18,000-acre sanctuary, including prescribed burns, bird-friendly forestry and native plantings.
We’re excited for the work we’ve accomplished in 2020, and even more so for what’s in store for the new year. Birds need us now more than ever and there’s no time to lose, so I hope we can continue to count on your partnership in 2021 with a gift to support our work at Beidler Forest.
Thank you for all that you do for Audubon. On behalf of all of us at Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary and Audubon South Carolina, we are deeply grateful for your ongoing commitment to birds and the places they need.
Warm wishes to you and yours during the holiday season and new year.
Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary