Faith communities take note! ASNV is pleased to announce that our Audubon at Home (AAH) Program has been awarded a $7500 grant from the Plants for Birds Burke Grant program, which has been established with generous support from the Coleman and Susan Burke Center for Native Plants. The goal of the Burke Grant program is to support network Plants for Birds activities that will increase the visibility, reach, and impact of Audubon’s Plants for Birds programming across the country.
The Burke Grant funds will be used to bolster ongoing efforts. AAH is one of the founding partners of Plant NOVA Natives (PNN) campaign, whose volunteers are now working to make a clear change in landscaping culture away from the use of invasive, introduced ornamentals and an excess of lawn toward more native plantings and landscaping designs that retain stormwater. In partnership with AAH and the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Districts, PNN’s efforts have included work with faith communities, as of now with 34 congregations from 11 denominations.
In keeping with the focus of all Audubon programs on equity, diversity, and inclusion, this grant will be used to enlist six new faith communities--to include non-English speaking, non-Christian/Jewish, or underserved populations of Northern Virginia congregants—to enrich their properties with native plants and to educate congregants about the project. AAH and PNN are now identifying candidates for the project and welcome recommendations—write us at AAH@audubonva.org.
Grant funds will be used only for native plants to create a demonstration garden for each faith community-- design and installation will be the responsibility of the congregation. Funds will be provided to the faith organization on condition that they accept the garden as part of an overall educational program, that they maintain the garden for ten years, and that they put up a small, educational sign. AAH will follow up to see if gardens, once established, can be certified as AAH Wildlife Sanctuaries.