2014 Holden Fund Grants
Sharyn Magee

Several years ago Washington Crossing Audubon Society received a generous bequest from the late Polly Holden to be used for conservation and environmental education. WCAS provides grants from the Holden Fund to assist individuals and organizations in advancing conservation and environmental education through initiatives broadly related to birdlife and bird studies.

The 2014 Holden Grant recipients are:

$3,380Conserve Wildlife
$4,980D & R Greenway.
$3,300Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space
$2,010Friends of Rogers Refuge
$1,156Friends of Taylor Wildlife Reserve
$1,475NJ Audubon

Conserve Wildlife Kestrel boxes: This is a hands-on project enlisting volunteers to build, erect, and monitor nest boxes for breeding Kestrels, which are declining rapidly due to habitat loss and loss of mature trees for nesting. The American Kestrel is a state threatened species.

D&R Greenway: This project restores habitat in the greater Sourland Macroregion, the most significant Important Bird Area in our region, linking a green belt connecting the western part of the Sourlands proper with Baldpate Mountain. Three species of conservation concern on the Audubon Watchlist--Veery, Kentucky Warbler, and Worm-eating Warbler--nest on an adjacent property, providing a possible source population for breeding when the fields revert to mature forest. The restoration can provide breeding habitat for several other species of conservation concern in the successional old field and young forest stages, including Blue-winged and Prairie Warblers, which are also on the Audubon Watchlist. The comparison study between fenced areas and unfenced with hunting areas should provide much needed information on the efficiency of hunting as a land management tool.

Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space: This project creates bee habitat patches in a field using native plants and solitary bee nest boxes. All bee species are in steep decline and the loss of their pollinating services has ramifications up the entire food chain, including reducing berry availability for birds. The educational part of the project will involve local high school students in a joint ecological and art project.

Friends of Rogers Refuge: This project supports the ongoing restoration of a historically important bird breeding and birding site. In recent years, FoRR has made significant progress in habitat restoration at the Rogers Refuge while increasing the accessibility to birders. Several species have returned that have been absent for a decade or more and ground nesting bird breeding territories are increasing due to understory recovery.

Friends of Taylor Wildlife Reserve: This project supports building birding towers to make this small reserve more accessible to birders. The reserve is strategically placed on the NJ side of the Delaware River migration corridor.

Life Net: The Life Net program in Ecuador provides a model conservation program for Latin America, nicely combining conservation and conservation education of the local population. Partnering with organizations preserving the wintering sites of our breeding Nearctic-neotropical migrants will help prevent loss of those species.

Suggestions to WCAS If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact either of the following:

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Last revision: MOnday, February 3, 20143