By Lauren Miheli, Member and Volunteer Manager
Here at Houston Audubon we are so appreciative of the younger generations; from Elementary School to College, young people are a big part of our volunteer efforts. The initiative they take in finding ways to help out at our sanctuaries is super inspiring! This was particularly true throughout the pandemic, as youth continued to work to help us, even as their school schedules were in limbo and they weren’t able to gather in groups. Some of the contributions of youth volunteers in 2020 included:
Eagle Scout Projects! Scouts built a shed, helped us clear out invasive plants, designed, built and installed a solar powered compost bin, developed a volunteer project to control invasive plants, and created and mounted new signs on our trails at Edith L. Moore; as well as built owl boxes for our High Island Sanctuaries.
High School clubs were also helpful to us! At Edith L. Moore, student activists from Memorial Teens for Green and Langham Creek Students Protecting Animals of America joined us once a month helping to maintain the trails and clean litter out of Rummel Creek.
Youth from the Formosa Association of Student Cultural Ambassadors raised money to purchase mulch for the trails at Edith L. Moore, and spent a morning with us spreading it out.
LinC – Bonner Scholars traveled from Washburn University in New Jersey on a service trip and spent a day cleaning up garbage at Smith Oaks and spent another day building boardwalks at the Raptor and Education Center.
A group of college students with the UT School of Architecture’s Gulf Design Lab camped out overnight at our new Hulsey Coastal Operation Center to build bridges and other infrastructure.
Youth continue to impress us, in fact, more of them reach out to offer to help than we are able to work with. So on behalf of Houston Audubon and the birds we are so thankful for their contributions, and we think honoring them is a great way for us to kick off National Volunteer Appreciation Week.