In October 2015, the Audubon Society of Missouri graciously donated $13,000 to the Jerry Wade Youth Habitat Education Program, a grant program administered by the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative Foundation. The YHEP fund, established as Jerry Wade’s final vision for MoBCI, reinforces our organization’s commitment to bird habitat restoration and conservation. The Youth Habitat and Education Program is designed to provide educators with modest financial awards to support bird habitat restoration while involving students in grades K-12. The $13,000 award from ASM doubles the annual yield and impact of this important grant program which now totals nearly $27,000.
Audubon Society of Missouri members were among the many generous donors who made contributions to the YHEP fund as memorials to Jerry Wade who had the vision and dream to expand MoBCI’s programs into the educational arena. The MoBCI Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, formed specifically for MoBCI funds administration and to work in support of the Initiative at the direction of the MoBCI Steering Committee.
Founded in 1901, The Audubon Society of Missouri is a statewide organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of birds and other wildlife forms. Education and appreciation of the natural world and effective wildlife and habitat conservation are a large part of the ASM mission statement, and the generous contribution to YHEP stands as testament to their dedication.
In November 2015, the YHEP Grants Committee, chaired by long-time MoBCI Steering Committee member Susan Hazelwood of Columbia, Missouri, awarded a YHEP grant to Lee Expressive Arts School for the construction and maintenance of a native plant garden to attract birds to the school’s downtown Columbia location. The surrounding habitat of Lee Expressive Arts School has been recently impacted by growing development, and the native planting now made possible by the YHEP grant will serve the area’s local bird populations while encouraging bird and conservation education.