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-The Monterey County Gives! team.
The Monterey Audubon Society is devoted to celebrating and conserving the birds and wildlife of California's Central Coast.
Birds are all around us, from city parks to playgrounds to wilderness areas. They are an accessible way for people young and old to connect with nature. With the new Young Birders Club, we will encourage, educate, and empower young people with an interest in nature and birds. This will be a welcoming space for them to meet friends their age and develop their interests in birds, nature, and conservation. As the Club gains momentum and members, we'd like for the young birders to have a say in how the club is run, and have chances to take on leadership roles and give back to their communities. We'll hold at least one filed trip per month to exciting places around Monterey County. Membership and all associated club activities will be free. Thanks to grants we received in previous years, we have binoculars and field guides to provide free of charge.
Growing up in Monterey County with a passion for birds, the closest young birders I knew lived hours away. But the limited interactions I had with other young bird enthusiasts had a positive impact on me. Having virtual friends is great, but there is no substitute for the joy and learning opportunities presented by being in person when it comes to birding. Young birders benefit greatly from organized clubs because clubs allow them to find other young birders, they enable young birders to learn from supportive mentors and each other, and they also cultivate a conservation-oriented mindset that can have a lasting impact, with some club members even feeling encouraged to pursue careers in conservation. Creating a Young Birders Club in Monterey would be a wonderful step forward in supporting the birding community’s newest members who have their whole lives ahead of them to make a difference for the planet.
- Elle Heiser