Volunteer News Chirps - March 2020!

Things are starting to pick up at the Center! There's anticipation in the air, including for how the site will look after the anticipated 1,000 new native plants are in place this season. We're also excited about trying new ways to engage, educate, and appreciate all of our volunteers. Without your help, the habitat restoration and place-based education efforts at the Center would simply not be possible. Thank you, and we'll see you soon!
                                                                            Emily Chilcoat
Bi-Monthly Volunteer Meeting   March 2nd, 2020  4-5:30

In an effort to better connect and engage our volunteers, we are adding bi-monthly volunteer meetings to the schedule. Meetings will include orientation, discussion about our current volunteer structure, opportunities, socializing, and more. Light refreshments provided.  Please RSVP  
Opportunities in...Outreach and Events

The Center loves to be a part of the many community education and outreach events in Billings, and volunteers are critical in making that happen. Not sure it's for you? Come to a training or set up a time to chat with staff about what these events are like! 
Laurel Arbor Day Education Booth 
May 5th, 9-3 pm at South Pond 
Join Center staff in engaging 6 elementary classes from Laurel Public Schools to play games and learn about our natural world. Training in April.

Billings Arbor Day Education Booth
May 7th, 8:30-12 pm at North Park
Help engage 8 local classes from all around Billings doing fun hands-on learning. Lunch provided! Training in April.

Evening Under the Big Sky Planning Committee Volunteers 
Planning for the Center's only annual fundraising event (this year on Sept 18th) is getting underway, and we need your help to make it a fun, successful event! 

Wings Across the Big Sky Volunteers in Lewistown       
June 5-7, 2020
Montana Audubon's annual event is just a hop, skip and a jump away and is even pretty close to Billings this year! Volunteers are needed to help with a variety of tasks throughout the conference. 
Opportunities in...Citizen Science 

Project Feeder Watch 
Now- April 3rd, 2020
Swing by the Center anytime between 8:30 and 5:00 on Wednesdays and Thursdays to help the Center collect winter bird data in our Bird Garden. This Citizen Science program is a great way to start learning about and observing our local birds. Visit Project FeederWatch to learn more about participating at home!  

Nest Watch Training
April 10th, 4-5:30 pm 
Join the Center in our 2nd year of participating in the Nest Watch program. Learn about Nest Watch and how the data collected helps the us monitor the breeding success of birds in our restored habitat.  

Great Blue Heron Survey Training 
April 11th, Time TBD
A new opportunity coming this spring! Join Montana Audubon's Director of Policy and Science, Amy Seaman, as she trains volunteers to help collect data on Great Blue Herons around the Yellowstone Valley! Sign-up coming soon; until then check out all of Montana Audubon's Citizen Science Efforts

Seasonal Flora and Fauna Observations
iNaturalist is a fun Citizen Science platform where hikers / nature enthusiasts can upload media files of what they hear or see and also get help with identification. Local and national scientists use this data to help track species, find new species, and record rare phenomena. The Center is using iNaturalist to help identify on-site flora and fauna found and help track species diversity. Sign up below to learn more or contact Emily. 

West High Inclusive Restoration volunteer sorting milkweed seed and fluff. 
Opportunities in... Restoration

Spring Restoration Orientation 
Monday, March 23rd, 4-5:30 pm
Join us for our 1st Restoration Orientation in 2020. Learn about upcoming projects, restoration goals, best practices, and more!

Anthony's Restoration Birthday Bash! 
Thursday, April 2nd, 3-6 pm
Come celebrate Anthony's 26th Birthday by building plant cages and enjoying cake! Stay for an hour or all three. 

Current Restoration Needs:
  • Seed Packaging:  Join us Wednesday March 11th 4-5 pm and  Thursday  March 12th 12-3 pm 
  • Green House Prep
More projects are listed in the back of the  Volunteer Hours Binder. 

"Bird Adaptations" Cleaning 
Opportunities in... Education Programs

Special Opportunity: Spring Canoeing and Restoration Projects 

Each Spring, thousands of students spend a day at the Center exploring the ponds, helping with restoration projects, and having fun. In order to help accommodate as many students as possible, we need volunteers to aid staff and engage with students. 

Spring ANTS Training  is March 30th, 9am-1pm. Bring a lunch.   Interested? Please contact Emily

We're always on the lookout for great volunteers to help staff with our education programs. Let Emily know if you're interested in any of the following:
  • H ome School Science
     Mondays and Thursdays, 2-3:45 
    • What a better classroom than the outdoors! Our Home School Science program gets students outside participating in hands-on, experience-based learning. 
  • Inclusive Restoration                                                                                                  Mondays, Tuesday, and Fridays
    • The Inclusive Restoration program offers adults and high school students with special needs an outside, hands-on, project-based experience that also helps the Center with its ongoing restoration efforts.
  • ANTS (Audubo n Naturalists in The Schools) and School Field Trips
    • Students all around Billings love coming the Center to get hands-on, place-based nature education. Each curriculum is crafted for age level and education standards, making it a win-win for teachers and students.
  • Summer Camp
    • Summers at the Center are the best! Camp participants enjoy half and full-days of outdoor exploration, adventure, and learning.
  • Fledglings Preschool 
    • Billings' only nature-based preschool, where the kids spend 80% of their time outside! Pre-literacy and other academic skills are fully integrated into outdoor, play-based experiences.
  • Community Programs
    • Our Community Programs include a variety of workshops, guided walks, special programs, and other opportunities for both families and adults.
Interns Padon and Tim retrieving a tire from the melting pond. 
Upcoming Programs

Natural History Happy Hour: Fungi and Lichen
Thursday, March 12th 7-8:30 pm 
$12/person ($7/members/ students) 

Native Plant Symposium 
Saturday, March 14th, 8:30-12 

Master Naturalist Training 
Thursdays, March 19th - June 4th, 5:30-8 pm 

New Moon Night Hike 
Friday March 27 at 7 pm 
Seasonal Sightings
    • Canada Goose
    • Black-capped Chickadee
    • White-tailed Deer 
    • Dark-eyed Junco
    • House Finch
    • Ring-necked Pheasant 
    • White-breasted Nuthatch 
    • House Sparrow 
    • Cedar Waxwing
    • Juvenile Bald Eagles
Montana Audubon Center

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