Waterfowl Chesapeake launches match challenge
EASTON — Waterfowl Chesapeake has launched its first Community in Conservation Match Challenge and announced the three 2017 Community in Conservation award recipients, who are receiving $7,500 from this small grant program.
WC’s support is “seed funding” to give these initiatives a jump-start toward the monies they need. To get them fully funded and show the region’s love for waterfowl, the WC is challenging the community — and the thousands of Festival visitors — with a matching campaign now through Nov. 13. Every dollar raised will go directly to these initiatives, increasing each organization’s capacity to get the job done.
According to WC, the Match Campaign, with a goal of raising an additional $7,500, reconnects communities with conservation in addition to raising funds. WC is asking its stakeholders, supporters and people in communities to “match” its dollars by dropping a “green feather” or two for community-based waterfowl conservation.
“We are so excited to focus on supporting several kinds of projects, all which have an impact on waterfowl and their habitats. And doing so for organizations in our Delmarva communities,” said Margaret Enloe, WC executive director. “We like to think it’s one of our unique ways of connecting people and financial resources with environmental needs.”
There are three grant recipients. One is the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy for its Students for Streams program, an environmental education program for Dorchester County ninth-graders and teachers. Another is Delaware Wild Lands for its Adopt-an-Acre program, a habitat improvement and conservation program. The third goes to James Pierson at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science for his study on reducing pesticide use on marshes, which could improve food resources for waterfowl.
“The Match Campaign also highlights the Festival’s legacy of supporting our beloved birds and their habitats — wetlands, marshes, underwater grass beds and woodlands — all which make our region unique,” WC stated in a press release. “As long as there have been available funds, Waterfowl Festival has given something back to the ducks, geese and swans for its entire 47-year history.”
Contributions can be made online at www.wa terfowlchesapeake.org/matchchallenge2017, or Festival visitors may drop a few dollars in any of the blue “Wood Duck Donation Boxes” around Easton now and in the exhibits during the Festival. Donations also will be accepted at the Waterfowl offices at 40 S. Harrison St., Easton.
Waterfowl Chesapeake’s Community in Conservation small grant program, supported by restricted proceeds from the Waterfowl Festival, is intended to be an annual opportunity to increase the capacity of nonprofits and community entities for their restoration and conservation work. It is also one of the only grant programs that supports multiple types of conservation activities — education, engagement and research — all of which are critical to building healthy waterfowl populations and environments.
Waterfowl Chesapeake hopes the broad emphasis on “community,” which draws on the Festival’s long history, will encourage organizations to think creatively about who they can serve and help generate new ideas to bring people and regional conservation work, research and education together.
Members of Waterfowl Chesapeake and the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy are pictured with one of the wood duck donation boxes, part of a fund matching campaign through Waterfowl Chesapeake.