Connecticut Audubon Society
314 Unquowa Road
Fairfield CT 06824
Contact Information
Address 314 Unquowa Road
Fairfield, CT 06824-
Telephone (203) 259-0416 x404
Fax 203-254-7365
E-mail akerin@ctaudubon.org
Web and Social Media
Searching for macroinvertibrates in Old Saybrook
Mission
The Connecticut Audubon Society (CAS) conserves Connecticut’s environment through science-based education and advocacy focused on the state’s bird populations and their habitats. At the core of our belief is a deep appreciation of our state’s natural areas and its wildlife. Our vision is to serve as a portal to the outdoors and nature for the state’s residents, and to engage them in our efforts to make our state a model of environmental awareness and sustainability.  
 
Founded in 1898, CAS operates five conservation education facilities throughout the state, as well as 19 wildlife sanctuaries, preserving over 2,600 acres of open space in Connecticut. Working exclusively in the state of Connecticut, CAS is an independent organization, not affiliated with any national or governmental group: every dime raised stays within Connecticut. Our staff educators and volunteers work to conserve birds and their environments, with work that includes sanctuary management, advocacy, science and environmental education, activities at our centers, scientific studies, collaboration with other state groups, and our Connecticut State of the Birds project.
 
Leveraging the captivating appeal of birds, we use our nature centers, education programs, weekend walks and workshops, and advocacy campaigns to connect and engage the state’s children, families, and residents with the natural world around them. Our goal, through experiential learning, is for every child in the state to appreciate the tangible values nature provides to their inherent health, intellectual growth, and our society. We serve as a portal to nature and the outdoors, helping to build in this generation, and the next, an appreciation for the environment and an awareness regarding the importance of conservation and sustainability. We advocate for public policies and actions such that Connecticut will be a recognized leader in conservation and sustainability in the nation.
A Great OpportunityHelpThe nonprofit has used this field to provide information about a special campaign, project or event that they are raising funds for now.

CAS received its first land donation in 1914 through the generosity of philanthropist Annie Burr Jennings of Fairfield. With Ms. Jenning’s gift of 10 acres, Mrs. Mabel Osgood Wright created Birdcraft Sanctuary, the first-of-its-kind songbird refuge in the nation. The Museum at this Sanctuary was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993. Today, Birdcraft offers premier natural history education programs and events for children and adults. CAS’s major campaign for 2017-2018 includes the renovation of this historic site, its structures, and its legacy. The focus of this project is the completion of interior walls and flooring, and a redesigned and updated exhibit area, with an estimated cost of $2.5 million. Once this renovation is complete, we will have secured Birdcraft as a platform from which to preserve Connecticut avian history and provide science-based education for school aged children and the public-at-large in a unique historic setting. Our goal is to complete this project by the end of 2018.


A Great Opportunity Ending Date Dec 31 2018
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1898
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Nelson L. North
Board Chair Mr. Peter W Kunkel
Board Chair Company Affiliation Forger and Kunkel
Financial Summary
 
Projected Revenue $2,860,000.00
Projected Expenses $3,039,000.00
Statements
Mission
The Connecticut Audubon Society (CAS) conserves Connecticut’s environment through science-based education and advocacy focused on the state’s bird populations and their habitats. At the core of our belief is a deep appreciation of our state’s natural areas and its wildlife. Our vision is to serve as a portal to the outdoors and nature for the state’s residents, and to engage them in our efforts to make our state a model of environmental awareness and sustainability.  
 
Founded in 1898, CAS operates five conservation education facilities throughout the state, as well as 19 wildlife sanctuaries, preserving over 2,600 acres of open space in Connecticut. Working exclusively in the state of Connecticut, CAS is an independent organization, not affiliated with any national or governmental group: every dime raised stays within Connecticut. Our staff educators and volunteers work to conserve birds and their environments, with work that includes sanctuary management, advocacy, science and environmental education, activities at our centers, scientific studies, collaboration with other state groups, and our Connecticut State of the Birds project.
 
Leveraging the captivating appeal of birds, we use our nature centers, education programs, weekend walks and workshops, and advocacy campaigns to connect and engage the state’s children, families, and residents with the natural world around them. Our goal, through experiential learning, is for every child in the state to appreciate the tangible values nature provides to their inherent health, intellectual growth, and our society. We serve as a portal to nature and the outdoors, helping to build in this generation, and the next, an appreciation for the environment and an awareness regarding the importance of conservation and sustainability. We advocate for public policies and actions such that Connecticut will be a recognized leader in conservation and sustainability in the nation.
Background
Working exclusively in the state of Connecticut for over 100 years, The Connecticut Audubon Society is an independent organization, not affiliated with any national or governmental group.
 
In 1914, Mabel Osgood Wright received a gift to establish the Birdcraft Sanctuary in Fairfield, CT. The first privately funded songbird sanctuary in the United States, Birdcraft laid the foundation for The Connecticut Audubon Society, and much of the national conservation movement that we know today.
 
Hundreds of volunteers help to manage our 19 sanctuaries, 5 centers throughout the state, and the historic Birdcraft Museum.
 
Impact
ACCOMPLISHMENTS
1. Launched the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center in Old Lyme- Our newest center, RTPEC, provides award-winning Science in Nature environmental educational programs for K-12 students, and adult educational programs. In its third year, the highly regarded Fall and Spring Lecture Series delivers informative environmental talks by renown scientists, artists and conservationists. 
 
2. Habitat restoration at H. Smith Richardson Wildlife Preserve- Parking lots and strip malls have threatened bird and wildlife habitats. At the Preserve, on-going habitat restoration work has encouraged many bird species and wildlife to return to nest and live. In a 6 acre parcel, we have cleared invasive vines and weeds, and planted native shrubs and small trees. Our conservation staff and the Friends of Smith Richardson will continue to monitor the site over several years. We are encouraged by the success of our restoration work there.
 
3. Grant approval for the restoration of the historic Edwin Way Teale property and Visitor's Center, Pomfret- Our Trail Wood Sanctuary, the former home of the Pulitzer Prize winning naturalist writer and photographer, Edwin Way Teale, was recently approved for designation on the Connecticut Historic Register. Thanks to a bequest and a technical assistance planning grant from the CT Trust for Historic Preservation, a strategic plan for the property was developed and conceptual designs for a modest visitor's center are being finalized.
 
4. Major upgrade and repair at the Coastal Center at Milford Point- In February of 2016, pipes burst causing extensive water damage to the floors, walls and exhibit area. Private donations, along with an insurance claim provided the necessary funding to revitalize the Coastal Center.
  
 
GOALS
-Increase our brand awareness in the NW and SE regions of CT.
-Complete the renovation project of the historic Birdcraft Museum in Fairfield
-Become actively involved in researching how to adapt to sea level changes and rising tides along our shorelines. 
 
 
Needs

CAS has identified the following priority needs for 2017 through 2018:

1) Capital campaign funds for CAS’s Birdcraft Museum, a National Historic Landmark. This 1914 museum is the oldest private songbird sanctuary in the United States, and was built under the direction of Mabel Osgood Wright, a pioneer in the American conservation movement and the founder of CAS in 1898.

2) Funding for 40,000 students for CAS’s award-winning Science in Nature education program, a field-based program aimed at improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) achievements and critical thinking skills by exposing students, particularly those at-risk, to science and conservation concepts not easily taught in the classroom.

3) Funding to restore and maintain CAS’s 2,600 acres of protected open space. Active land management and preservation of CAS’s forests, wetlands, and grasslands habitats require staff dedication, research, tools, and materials to succeed.

4) Funding to continue our momentum in our various Citizen Science programs. Citizen Science uses a statewide network of concerned citizens to gather the immense amount of data needed to observe, study, protect, and advocate for dozens of wildlife species. Needs include computers, printing, software, and coordinators.


CEO Statement

The Connecticut Audubon Society works actively to protect at-risk bird species and their habitats, and the countless plants, insects and other animals that share those habitats. We believe that by conserving the State’s birds and their habitats we will be protecting human health and building a more sustainable world. Our goal is to use the beauty, diversity, and visibility of birds to connect more people to the natural world, creating a lifelong bond of stewardship. Our core value is to leave future generations a state that is in better shape than the one we inherited.

We envision a state in which there are ample, diverse habitats to support a full complement of birds and wildlife, as well as numerous, high-quality opportunities for birding and other nature-related outdoor activities. We envision a state in which the residents recognize and appreciate the beauty and importance of nature, and have an understanding of its basic functions and of how their actions affect the natural world for better or worse.
Board Chair Statement Managing land for wildlife is a lot more complicated than simply setting it aside and leaving it undisturbed. Because our landscape is already human dominated, we must determine what we want a landscape to look like, and then actively manage the process to achieve that goal. Gifts to our Annual Fund ensure that we can actively manage our 19 wildlife sanctuaries and 2,600 acres of vital bird habitat across the state. When we invest in our sanctuaries beautiful things happen. Financial support allows us to nurture our children's interest in the natural world, save essential wildlife habitats, and empower us to lead. -Peter Kunkel, Board Chairman
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Environment / Natural Resources Conservation & Protection
Secondary Organization Category Animal Related / Bird Sanctuaries
Tertiary Organization Category Education / Elementary & Secondary Schools
Areas Served
State wide
Ansonia
Bethany
Branford
Cheshire
Derby
East Haven
Guilford
Hamden
Lower Naugatuck Valley
Madison
Milford
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
Orange
Oxford
Seymour
Shelton
Shoreline
Wallingford
West Haven
Woodbridge
Other
CAS serves the state of Connecticut through educating the residents and protecting the land.  We operate nature centers in Fairfield, Milford, Glastonbury, Pomfret, and Old Lyme, museums in Fairfield and Hampton, and our EcoTravel office in Essex. Additionally, CAS manages 19 wildlife sanctuaries around the state, preserving over 2,600 acres of open space, and educates over 100,000 children and adults annually.
Programs
Description

Science in Nature is a Connecticut field-based program aimed at improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) achievements and critical thinking skills by exposing students, particularly those at-risk, to science and conservation concepts not easily taught in the classroom. 43,400 Connecticut students, mostly from Title 1 schools, have participated with resounding praise from teachers, school administrators, independent educator reviewers, and students, with significant expansion planned for New Haven County schools this upcoming year. Awarded the 2014 Maria Pirie Environmental Education Program Award by the New England Environmental Education Alliance as the outstanding regional education program, Science in Nature links classroom learning to outdoor experiences, and is one of the first outdoor-based science programs to meet the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), replacing the Connecticut Mastery Tests (CMTs). Support for teachers includes NGSS training.

Population Served At-Risk Populations / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

The following year-over-year measurable goals are expected:   

  • 100% of participating educators will be provided with new resources for leading hands-on, science-based programs: effectiveness will be measured through a series of evaluations throughout the program demonstrating at least 90% positive feedback from teachers.
  • At least 75% children will express an increased interest or renewed interest in science and the natural world through evaluations performed at the end of the program.
  • Enhanced critical thinking and science skills while meeting Connecticut curriculum standards: At least 65% students will show improvement on science data journals that will be graded throughout the course of this program.

 

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

Science in Nature was created in response to Connecticut’s well-documented academic achievement gap and to studies, including those performed by the Connecticut State Board of Education, which show that outdoor science education in concert with classroom instruction results in higher student achievement than classroom-based curricula alone, and is more effective at communicating the interconnectedness between science, technology, and the environment to improve life on earth (Coulter 1896, Cronin-Jones 2000, Dillon et al. 2006, CSBOE 2004). Our long-term goals include: 1) increased mastery of STEM subjects and environmental knowledge by all participating students, 2) heightened awareness and appreciation of students’ individual impact on the environment, and a motivation to continue pursuing science as a career, 3) improving all participating teacher capabilities as science educators, and 4) greater understanding of how the program can be adjusted for future years.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

The Connecticut Audubon Society enlists the help of teachers and school administrators to capture progress:

  • Results from NGSS tests (formerly CMTs) are reviewed by teachers and discussed with CAS staff.
  • Student complete, and are graded on, science data journals throughout the course of this program.
  • Classroom teachers complete a series of evaluations and surveys throughout the program.
  • For certain grade years, students complete a multiple-choice and open-ended pre-test prior to their first visit and another evaluation at the end of the school year. We compare the pre- and post-tests to determine students' knowledge gain and retention of some of the key concepts addressed in Science in Nature, as well as their opinions about the program's activities, topics, and logistics.  
  • An end-of-year wrap-up event for feedback is held at teachers’ convenience for participating classroom teachers and CAS education staff.
 These combined evaluation methods inform best practices for the following school year.

 

 
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

An average of 12%-16% increase in knowledge for grade 5 students as measured on pre- and post-tests and improvements on science journals has been noted in the last three years.


“…Science in Nature education program was very well received by the Principals and teachers in the district.” -- Angela Bhushan, Director of Mathematics & Science, Bridgeport Board of Education

“… approximately 1,000 students from our nine elementary schools have participated in the Science in Nature education program…motivates more teachers to adopt a ‘learn-by-doing’ approach to teaching science.” -- Santosha Oliver, Ph.D., Director of Teaching and Learning, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics, Manchester Public Schools.

“It has given many of our students experiences they may not receive otherwise as well as the experiential learning which is so important in understanding concepts ...” -- Marcia Huddy, Supervisor of Professional Development, East Hartford Public Schools.

Description

Osprey Nation uses a network of enthusiastic volunteer citizen scientists from across Connecticut to help the conservation community track the health of the state’s Osprey bird population. Ospreys, almost rendered extinct by widespread usage of DDT in the 1970s, became a poster-child for conservation as a cleaner environment and new nest sites led to their resurgence. When professional and state conservation agencies reported a lack of staff capacity to gather meaningful data on rebounding Osprey populations, The Connecticut Audubon Society’s innovative solution was to crowd-source a corps of volunteers to track Ospreys, to repair and build nesting sites, and to report on each individual nest’s progress for data synthesis and conservation action to improve Osprey resurgence. With 225 current Citizen Scientist volunteers participating and more needed next year, we have a continued need for funding for nesting materials, training, and improved mapping technology.

Population Served Adults / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

Osprey Nation has experienced at least 10% growth in volunteer numbers every year since the program’s inception. We seek an additional 10% increase in volunteers in the upcoming year, as well as additional funding for nest repair materials, new mapping technology, reporting, and data synthesis, including new database software, and training materials. These items will encourage safe nesting, protect fledglings, educate our volunteers, improve data accuracy leading to robust conservation solutions, and mobilize a statewide network of citizen scientists in greater numbers.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

Listed as Endangered in nearly every state, Ospreys began their rebound with the banning of DDT in 1972, the low point for Ospreys in Connecticut, with fewer than 10 active nests. Although Osprey numbers rebounded, this program represents a systematic, long-term initiative to provide critical data that State and conservationist groups need to determine if Connecticut Osprey numbers are stable, declining, or increasing, and to respond with conservation action. To our knowledge, no project like this has ever been attempted in Connecticut conservation circles. There are currently 250 mapped active Osprey nests throughout Connecticut, and we estimate that another 100 exist. Our ultimate conservation goal is to monitor all nests, and lead a sustained effort of repairing nests, improving mapping and reporting, and training more volunteers in monitoring and protecting these critical bioindicators to inform decisions and actions impacting Connecticut’s environment. 


Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

Our network of Osprey Nation stewards collects and sends us data on the birds’ arrival dates each spring, the location of nests, nesting success throughout the season, and Osprey departure dates. CAS enters the data on a map for everyone to view. As Osprey Nation is a partnership with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, we submit the data to DEEP biologists for their analysis. 


Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

The ultimate success of this program continues to be the rebounding numbers of Osprey nesting in Connecticut, owed in large part to conservation action through a concerned citizenry and advocacy.

In its first season, Osprey Nation’s 100-plus stewards located 414 nests in five counties and 42 towns, and monitored 174 of those nests. Osprey Nation stewards confirmed that 78 young Ospreys were successfully fledged in 2014, a number that we’re confident is low.

In its second year, the program saw a rise in the number of volunteer stewards to 146, we increased the identified nest locations on our project’s interactive map to 515, the number of recorded active nests rose from 210 to 250, and the total number of recorded hatchlings increased from 221 to 415. Observers recorded that 356 of those hatchlings fledged. Osprey Nation stewards found nests in every county except Tolland and in 56 of the state’s 169 towns.

Description

Connecticut State of the Birds is an annual, collaborative report focused on the single major threat to our native birds: habitat loss. Our document closely examines the decline of native vegetation, water quality, weather and climate, insects, and habitat as factors affecting the health of indigenous and migrating birds, some rare and endangered, and our many contributing author experts present strategies and solutions to reverse negative trends of declining bird populations, with recommendations followed through by state conservation agencies. Already in its 10th year of publication, the 2016 issue, entitled “Gains, Losses and the Prospect of Extinction” presents research from nationally recognized experts to tackle the tough issues of habitat loss within Connecticut.

Population Served US / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

Each year’s report contains specific, science-based, and year-over-year recommendations for preserving bird habitats, from the statewide policy level all the way down to an individual’s action. CAS then collaborates with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and other state agencies, and conservation organizations to implement changes based on those recommendations. These typically focus on increased funding, development of management plans for forest areas, increased collaboration between conservation groups within Connecticut to leverage resources while reducing costs, and to encourage landowners to involve themselves in conservation action.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

The long-term goals of the State of the Birds publication closely mirrors CAS’s mission statement: “CAS conserves Connecticut’s environment through science-based education and advocacy focused on the state’s bird populations and their habitats since 1898.” As our most important annual publication, the document acts as a catalyst to bring much-needed change to policies and action, to combat declining trends in habitat quality and quantity, and to increase bird populations throughout Connecticut as a result. Together with the state’s top researchers and advocates, we provide data, conclusions, and varied and long-term recommendations for our state conservation agencies to turn into actionable goals.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

The program’s long-term success is measured by the increase in numbers and varieties of native and migrating birds on both a regional and habitat-specific level. Through dozens of citizen science and State agency conservation efforts, tens of thousands of pieces of data are collected on specific bird populations, nests, fledges, and habitat health in wetland areas, forests, urban settings, and open spaces, among others. This data informs whether our conservation efforts, of which the Connecticut State of the Birds publication is one part, are having a positive impact and to what extent.

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

For the 2016 issue of Connecticut State of the Birds, its 10th anniversary, we invited authors from the inaugural publication to provide a “report card” on the effects of conservation efforts over the last decade. Successes reported in this issue include:

Wetland birds are doing fairly well, including long-legged waders improving in numbers, particularly Great Blue Herons and waterfowl. Invasive plants and wetland infringements continue to be primary challenges.

Coastal birds, the terns, plovers, and oystercatchers that nest along the shoreline, are doing well, thanks to aggressive public relations action encouraging beachgoers to “share the beach”.

Connecticut has added hundreds of acres of grassland habitat over the last decade, encouraging the return of native grassland birds.

Description

One of CAS’s largest undertakings is our land conservation initiative throughout Connecticut. CAS currently owns 19 wildlife sanctuaries covering 2,600 acres of protected land, including significant upland forest habitat, wetlands, some of the state’s largest tracts of managed grassland habitat, as well as critical breeding, wintering and staging areas for shorebirds. We work tirelessly and cooperatively with our local land trusts, elected officials, and regional communities to preserve more open space for future generations, and we actively engage with our members to advocate for political action to protect our open spaces.

Along with our land preservation efforts comes our advocacy for proper management of open spaces, to maximize the viability of habitats for Connecticut’s indigenous and migrating wildlife. Only a percentage of preserved land is managed with an eye to biodiversity and habitat health, and CAS has the expertise to properly manage this process.

Population Served US / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. In the upcoming year, CAS will continue to actively manage our 19 wildlife sanctuaries and their range of ecosystems, habitats, trails, vegetation, and wildlife, while also educating our 100,000+ visitors on the importance of open space preservation. At our H. Smith Richardson Wildlife Preserve, once an example of a rare coastal forest, CAS will continue to dedicate considerable time, money, and energy to removing invasives over this 74 acre property and planting native vegetation in order to attract back native birds, pollinators, and other wildlife to this once-thriving ecosystem. At our Morgan R. Chaney Sanctuary extensive shrub habitat creation is underway for the benefit of declining bird species, like the Blue-winged Warbler, whose survival depend on this habitat. Habitat management will also continue at our Banks South Farm, a 60 acre preserve overrun by invasives, but with new funding and an enthusiastic volunteer base, we are optimistic of a reversal.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

CAS has three basic goals for long-term open space acquisition, land preservation, and advocacy within Connecticut:

Work with land trusts, our members, and other critical stakeholders to continue acquiring lands, leading to larger regions of continuous protected open space throughout Connecticut.

Coordinate restoration of critical habitats for rare and endangered species of birds, both indigenous and migrating.

Partner with town conservation committees, land trusts, and other protectors of valuable open space to help these entities best manage their protected land for habitat, birds, and other wildlife.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

Program Success is monitored by our Conservation Officer, individual center directors, sanctuary managers, and is widely reported in the news, social media, our annual report to our members, our board of directors, and to our concerned citizen circles. Benchmarks of success are typically measured in terms of number of acres saved, specific bill passages, and sightings of returning wildlife within a year or two of mass planting events.

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

A few of our many recent successes in both land preservation and conservation advocacy:

When the state’s conservation communities discovered that new State budgets would eliminate all money for land preservation in the Community Investment Act (CIA), CAS immediately took the case to public, publishing multiple op-ed pieces throughout the state and appearing at State budget meetings with a strong showing. As a result, the State returned considerable funds to the CIA, ensuring funding for land preservation.

An average of 150 volunteers have removed invasives over 14 acres of the Smith Richardson Preserve every year for four years in a row, making considerable progress.

Trail Wood was named to the State Register of Historic Places, protecting this outstanding 700 acres property with its fields, forests, streams, and grasslands from development.

CAS successfully advocated for the passage of state Bill HB 6557, which provides $5M over two years for open space funding in the bond package.

Description

The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center (RTPEC) will offer our popular Lecture Series education program in the Spring and Fall 2017, to expand public awareness of environmental issues through our “Meet a Scientist" program in elementary schools, provide speakers that focus on critical regional and statewide conservation issues, and partner with local organizations to broaden regional outreach. With this lecture series and outreach program, our intent is to focus on science, advocacy, and conservation challenges specific to our state rivers.

Our 2015/2016 series explored such topics as teaching the next generation of conservation stewards, climate change, and the impact of sea level change on the estuary region. Lecture topics scheduled for 2017 are equally in-depth and relevant. Our “Meet the Scientist” segment augments the educational experience by making our expert speakers available to speak in-depth to students and their teachers.

Population Served Adults / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

Our short term goals for the 2017 lecture series include the following:

  • Expand lecture topics. During the 2015 and 2016 topics included: Global Warming and Sea Level Rise, Bird Species Research and Citizen Science, and the Importance of our Forests in the Watershed, among others. In 2017 we will explore topics such as sea level rise mitigation, plant life of the wetlands, game birds, and submerged aquatic vegetation.
  • Expand collaborating partners to one per lecture including organizations like Ducks Unlimited, fishing and sporting clubs, Land Trusts. etc.
  • Increase the size of the audience from partnering organizations e.g., artists, authors, outdoor adventurers, fishermen, hunters. Steps to accomplish this will include sharing of marketing material and distribution to combined lists.
  • Identify and select lecture venues with more seating
  • Arrange for four to six "Meet the Scientist" programs

 

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

The Lecture Series introduces residents to environmental topics relevant to Connecticut coastal residents. It provides an opportunity to learn about the ecological challenges to the state’s rivers, their habitats, and wildlife from individuals in the academic community, researchers, authors, and noted conservationists. Our program seeks to bring together a concerned population interested in conservation advocacy, to deliver the most current scientific and cultural information on our Lower Connecticut rivers, and to educate Connecticut residents about coastal environmental issues through the following:

• Expanding the range of the scientific topics offered at each lecture series to best reflect the critical conservation issues impacting the Lower Connecticut region and statewide

• Expanding audience sizes, particularly by first-time attendees, by forming new partnerships in the Lower Connecticut region

• Expanding the number of students and teachers in "Meet the Scientist" sessions

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

We document and maintain a database of attendees at our lectures to evaluate the preferences of our guests, including frequency of attending, lecture theme, event (e.g., lecture, "Meet a Scientist" program) and affiliation of the attendee (e.g., CAS member, county of residence, member of a supporting organization). This data enables us to evaluate the interest in, and relevance of, our programs to tackle the conservation issues that concern both our local and regional attendees. Further, a great many of our attendees are subsequently contacted by CAS to receive feedback that will inform future programming and lecture topics, particularly involving the “Meet the Scientist” segment.

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

The Lecture Series is in its 3rd installation and is well attended, averaging approximately 120 guests per lecture. Since adding the “Meet the Scientist” segment, we have attracted a much larger contingent of youth and their teachers, and are encouraged to see Connecticut’s next generation of conservation stewards become involved with regional estuary issues. Finally, the lecture series acts as a gathering place for environmentally-minded residents to discuss and advocate for issues concerning them.

Program Comments
CEO Comments

The programs of the Connecticut Audubon Society (CAS) focus on three main goals:                                                                                                   

1. To Protect and Improve Important Bird and Wildlife Habitats

We manage our sanctuaries to encompass a variety of habitats – mature forest, early-successional woodlands, grasslands, wetlands – for a healthy and diverse bird and wildlife population. Recognizing that when it comes to habitat, bigger is usually better, we manage our sanctuaries to be complementary components of a mosaic of important habitats locally and statewide. Whenever and wherever possible, we support the acquisition, preservation and restoration of additional wild sites.

CAS provides science-based conservation management advice to Connecticut landowners, including other conservation organizations, corporations, private individuals and government agencies, and provides science-based advocacy for habitat conservation. Our participation in conservation science field work contributes to general knowledge and understanding of how better to conserve Connecticut’s birds.

2. To Advocate for a Sustainable and Healthy Planet with a Particular Focus on the Conservation of Birds and their Habitats

We support policies and actions that protect, maintain and improve habitat in Connecticut, including policies to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change, and oppose policies that do the opposite. Working with elected officials and government agencies to help secure the funding and other tools they need to protect Connecticut’s environment, we use our communications skills and technologies to make our positions and reasoning known to the greatest number of people using the appropriate media.

3. To Educate and Engage the Public in the Importance of Conservation and the Beauty of Birds and their Habitats

We provide curriculum-based outdoor science education to the greatest number of school children from around the state through our Science in Nature programs. Our regional Centers (Milford, Fairfield, Glastonbury, Pomfret, Old Lyme) foster a love for nature and the outdoors among Connecticut residents of all ages by providing enjoyable and enriching opportunities for birding, hiking and nature study, and serve as local forums for conservation-based events, programs and lectures; and provide the best outdoor, nature-based summer camps in the state.

Our EcoTravel program provides trips to destinations – locally, nationally, and internationally – that offer unusual, enjoyable and enriching opportunities for birding and wildlife observation led by knowledgeable guides.

 

CEO/Executive Director
Mr. Nelson L. North
Term Start Mar 2016
Email nnorth@ctaudubon.org
Experience

Nelson North, Executive Director of The Connecticut Audubon Society, joined the organization ten years ago. In his Executive Director role, Nelson oversees a staff of 28, manages 2,600 acres of sanctuaries throughout Connecticut, and brings the award-winning Science in Nature environmental education programs to nearly 20,000 K-12 students in Connecticut annually.

Previous to his work with The Connecticut Audubon Society, Nelson was in the national and international Sales and Sales Management business. AMF, VF Corporation, and Reed Exhibitions were among the prominent organizations Nelson represented. 

An avid outdoorsman, Nelson enjoys fishing, hunting, and birding throughout the northeast. His passion and appreciation for the natural world is evident in both his personal and professional lives.

Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 19
Number of Part Time Staff 9
Number of Volunteers 475
Number of Contract Staff 6
Staff Retention Rate 85%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 28
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 13
Female 15
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
NameTerm
Alexander Brash Aug 2013 - Feb 2016
Robert Martinez Mar 2003 - Aug 2013
Senior Staff
Title Chief Financial Officer
Title Senior Director of Science and Conservation
Title Director of Development
Title Director of Education and Interim Director, Center at Glastonbury
Title Director of Communications
Title Director, Coastal Center at Milford Point
Title Director, Northeast Corner Programs
Title Director, EcoTravel
Title Director, Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center
Title Membership Manager
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Collaborations
CAS collaborates with: CT Trust for Historic Preservation, DEEP, Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Land, Audubon Connecticut, Roger Tory Peterson Institute, CT League of Conservation Voters, CT Land Conservation Council, Connecticut Ornithological Association, UConn, Yale School of Forestry, Connecticut College, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, US Army Corps of Engineers, CT Forest and Park Association, Sierra Club, Aspetuck Land Trust, CT Council on Environmental Quality, Natural Resource Conservation Service, CT Greenways Council, New England Environmental Education Alliance, CT Outdoor and Environmental Education Association, Institute for Sustainable Energy, New Haven Ecology Project, Common Ground, Leon Sister City Project, Mass Audubon, Audubon Society of Rhode Island, eeCapacity (project of Cornell University and the North American Assn for Environmental Education)
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Maria Pirie Environmental Education Program AwardNew England Environmental Education Alliance2014
Zone Conservation CommendationGarden Club of America2016
Board Chair
Mr. Peter W Kunkel
Company Affiliation Forger and Kunkel
Term Oct 2015 to Sept 2018
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Michael Aurelia Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency
Joseph Blumberg, Vice Chairman Retired, Ferguson McGuire
Sandra Brown Retired, Gilead Hill Elementary School
James Denham Retired, Procter & Gamble
Samuel Gilliland, Jr. Fieldpoint Private
Jerid O'Connell Duggal Visual Solutions
Judith Richardson Community Volunteer
Charles Stebbins, Secretary JP Morgan Chase
Kathleen Van Der Aue Retired, Attorney and Partner Marcus Law Firm
Lawrence Walsh Hawthorn Group
DeVer Warner, Vice Chairman, Treasurer Retired, Schroder Banking Corporation
Claudia Weicker Retired, Senate Committee on Appropriations
Benjamin Williams Retired, Worcester Academy
Ralph Wood, Chairman Emeritus Retired, UTC
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 15
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 11
Female 4
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 20%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Co-Chair
Mr. Joseph Blumberg
Term Oct 2013 to Sept 2017
Email joeblumberg3@gmail.com
Standing Committees
Investment
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Executive
Finance
Nominating
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start May 01 2016
Fiscal Year End Apr 30 2017
Projected Revenue $2,860,000.00
Projected Expenses $3,039,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
Documents
Form 990s
Form 9902016
Form 9902015
Form 9902014
IRS Letter of Exemption
IRS Letter of Determination
Other Documents
Other Documents 3
NameYear
Connecticut State of the Birds Annual Report2016View
Connecticut State of the Birds Annual Report2015View
Connecticut State of the Birds Annual Report2014View
Connecticut State of the Birds Annual Report2013View
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$904,542$792,108$555,743
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified------
Individual Contributions------
------
$1,102,716$1,113,382$1,288,273
Investment Income, Net of Losses$183,560$225,278$567,741
Membership Dues$208,707$183,748$235,784
Special Events$168,919$168,438$162,777
Revenue In-Kind------
Other$173,340$191,131$94,251
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$2,374,224$2,364,399$2,550,528
Administration Expense$595,502$558,721$473,181
Fundraising Expense$270,528$230,416$286,111
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.850.850.88
Program Expense/Total Expenses73%75%77%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue25%24%40%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$23,363,729$24,244,519$24,838,507
Current Assets$1,674,001$1,283,639$1,608,984
Long-Term Liabilities$63,251$80,122$88,485
Current Liabilities$371,753$357,086$514,835
Total Net Assets$22,928,725$23,807,311$24,235,187
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountR.T. Vanderbilt Trust $112,100R.T. Vanderbilt Trust $105,000R.T. Vanderbilt Trust $105,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountWildwood Foundation $60,000Wildwood Foundation $77,000SBM Charitable Foundation $53,764
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountSBM Charitable Foundation $31,716SBM Charitable Foundation $37,230The Perkin Fund $50,000
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities4.503.593.13
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Goal $3,000,000.00
Dates Jan 2017 to Dec 2018
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of Jan 2017
Comments
CEO Comments The difference between our current fiscal year projected income of $2,860,000 and the projected expenses of $3,039,000, would be best explained by stating that our projected expenses will likely exceed our projected income by $179,000.
Foundation Staff Comments

This organization receives designated funds from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and has completed an abbreviated profile.

This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.

 

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