Audubon’s Bird-Friendly Communities team designated the week of April 19-24 as Bird-Friendly Week to coincide with the Earth Day theme, Restore our Earth. As a result, eight chapters and centers were able to secure PROs (proclamations, resolutions, ordinances) in support of bird-friendly buildings and native plants. PROs help to raise awareness of the importance of birds to the community and can also include policies to protect them.
Between January and March of this year, the BFC team along with national staff, campus and traditional chapter leaders, designed and hosted separate training series for Audubon leaders. Training topics in some cases were unique to the two types of chapters but also covered some universal training topics, such as tips for drafting a proclamation, team building and partnerships, and reaching out to elected officials. To help hone their communication skills, they also learned how to best use social media to promote PROs, the power of storytelling, and the importance of recognizing the land stewardship of Indigenous peoples.
Due to their PRO efforts, Audubon leaders from across the country, including one campus chapter, successfully obtained native plant or bird-friendly proclamations and resolutions:
Working to secure PROs has benefits for birds and for the local organizations. In essence, PRO work does 3 things: brings attention to their cause, builds partnerships, and grows the organizations and their capacity as they attract more people that may want to join their efforts.