Volunteer News Chirps - March 2021
Greetings  ,

Our quick warm-up after an equal quick-freeze has the Center itching in anticipation for spring growth. Although that also means more mud puddles, we don't mind as our native landscape will enjoy a good drink after a dry-ish and warm winter. Of course, our preschoolers and kindergarteners enjoy the mud as well!

Over the next few months, we will be sharing more information on this year's projects and activities. Until then, please browse our current opportunities and see if there are any opportunities you'd be able to aid.
Thanks for helping us do amazing work!
Emily Chilcoat
MAC Volunteer Coordinator
During the February Volunteer Hike we explored the island in Will's Marsh and chanced our luck walking on the ice back towards the building. 
Can you guess whose lodge we found?
Check out our Monthly Newsletters! 

To stay up to date on current Legislative Action Alerts at mtaudubon.org/news
Meetings, Trainings, and Learning Opportunities 

Monthly Hike with Volunteers
Thursday, March 4th, 11:30-12:30
Join other volunteers and staff for a hike among some of the Center's 3 miles of trails. This casual hike allows for wonderful chats and a way to connect with others. Meet in the lower parking lot, at the picnic table.    

4th Annual Native Plant Symposium 
This year's Native Plant Symposium will feature virtual presentations (March 20th & 27th) and in-person workshops throughout spring. Registration opens March 2nd. More information will be sent out Monday, March 1st. 

Monarch Larval Monitoring Project (MLMP) Training
Saturday, March 27th
The Center will be engaging in monarch surveys this year after discovering eight monarch caterpillars in the gardens last year. Learn about monarch biology and how to collect data that contributes to the monarch population's knowledge and more through this citizen science training provided by Monarch Joint Venture and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Learn more about this project and register at Monarch Larva Monitoring Project
The week in between our subzero temps and spring-like warm-up, staff and volunteers were able to get the start of a Quinzhee built on Shallow Mill. You may still get a glimpse of it as the thawing water makes it an ice island for a short time. 
Volunteer Opportunities 
    Table of Contents 

Contact Emily if interested. 

Project Feeder Watch (November- April) 
Conduct feeder surveys at the Center or from home. These yearly surveys help staff and scientists gather information on species migration and weather conditions, along with population size and range. Surveys at the Center will be conducted Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the day. Contact Emily to learn how to conduct a Project Feeder Watch Count. 

Journey North - Seasonal Sightings (Year-round)
Help scientists and our local community understand the phenology in our area through Journey North. They offer a seasonal list of flora and fauna that you can help collect data on right from your own home! 

iNaturalist (Year-round)
We want to know what you see when you're on site! The Montana Audubon Center is using iNaturalist to help catalog the flora and fauna seen on site. This is a free app that you can use virtually anywhere, providing a helpful identification system and helps with research all around the world. 

Montana eBird (Year-round)
A great way to keep year-round track of your bird lists and contribute bird data for science! Learn what Montana Audubon is doing to help!
Our winter Climate Watch Survey kicked off to a great start with 2 White-Breasted Nuthatch sightings near the Center. However, our luck was brief due to the screech of an ambitious juvenile Bald Eagle, which promptly sent all manner of avian life to a complete stop. Hopefully, the summer Climate Watch Survey (May 15th-June 15th) will result in more sightings. 
Opportunities in... Outreach Events

There are no outreach event scheduled at this time. 
Opportunities in... Restoration
No work days are scheduled at this time. However we invite everyone to visit the site and let us know what you see! 
Restoration Project List: 
  • Seed cleaning and packaging
  • Flora and fauna observations using iNaturalist
  • West End Pollinator Garden clean-up
  • Demonstration Garden Weeding

Contact Emily if interested.
Homeschool Science Aides; 2-3 Needed Monday and Thursday
March 1st - 25th, Topic: Nature CSI
Assist staff in engaging K- 6th graders in fun interactive earth science activities. 

Afterschool In Nature Aides;  1-2 Needed 
April 7th- 20th, Wednesdays 3:30-5pm, Topic: Spring STEM
Assist staff in engaging kids in fun spring STEM activities and outdoor excursions! 

Summer Camp Aides; 4+
June- August    
Volunteer Summer Camp Aides help provide added security and engagement for our campers and staff. Schedules are variable to allow for summer fun. Sign up for a reoccurring day or an entire week of camp. Inquire to learn more. 

Summer Camp Lunch Buddies; 1-2 per day
June-August, 12-12:30pm, M-F 
The Summer Camp Lunch Buddies program offers campers participating in a morning camp and afternoon camp a supervised lunch and play break. Sign up for a reoccurring day(s) or an entire week. 
Opportunities in... Virtual Options

Contact Emily if interested. 

Grant Research 
Much of what the Montana Audubon Center is able to do is made possible by grants. Volunteers are needed to help staff find appropriate grants so we can continue to provide amazing program and restoration efforts for years to come. Time asked is 1-2 hrs a week. Training is provided. 

Web Design 
The Center is looking for someone with web design knowledge to help update and monitor our virtual content.
Opportunities in... Woodworking and Building

Enjoy building things? We are searching for woodworkers/ building skills to help with some upcoming projects. Contact Emily if interested. 
  • Breezeway Storage Area 
  • Rolling Stream Table Cart and Enclosure
  • Wood Storage Cover
Opportunities in...Office and Administration

Contact Emily if interested.

Building Host; 1 Needed, 
May- October 
Assist staff in answering phones, greet and engaging visitors, and preparing  gear for Open House activities, such canoeing.  
During our Great Backyard Bird Count and Climate Watch Survey day at the Center, we stumbled upon the previous nights' deer bed nestled in the junipers near the Yurt.  
Seasonal Sightings
    • American Tree Sparrow
    • Song Sparrow 
    • White-breasted Nuthatch
    • House Wren 
    • Black-capped Chickadee
    • White-tailed Deer 
    • Fox
    • House Finch
    • Ring-necked Pheasant 
    • White-breasted Nuthatch 
    • House Sparrow 
    • Cedar Waxwings                                
    • Mourning Dove
    • Goldfinch 
    • American Robin 
    • Downy Woodpecker 
    • Dark-eyed Juncos
    • Sharp-shined Hawk
    • Bald Eagle
Montana Audubon Center

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