Bedford Audubon Society

Bedford Audubon Society

A Northern Westchester & Eastern Putnam Counties, New York
Chapter of the National Audubon Society

Celebrating 100 Years of Conservation 1913 — 2013
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Bedford Audubon Wants You to Participate in Audubon At Home

Although you may not know it, your chapterís area is a melting pot of biodiversity in the northeastern United States. Unlike the Midwest and western New York State, which have uniform bedrock, our areaís bedrock is incredibly varied. Bedrock refers to the solid rock below the vegetation and soils of an area that eventually gives rise to soil and, because plants and animals have specific requirements for soils. Ours attracts a huge diversity of plants and animal life. For instance, the herb atlas maps shows that species richness in Westchester County is higher than anywhere else in New York. The region contains 300 bird species including federally protected Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons and is home to at least 11 species of turtles. Deer, turkey, coyote, bobcat, fishers, and black bear are all found here making our chapterís area one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet.

In addition to important wildlife habitat, our area is a critical watershed that provides prize-winning unfiltered drinking water to more than 9 million people in New York City and parts of four counties. But, due to its beauty and proximity to New York City, this area is increasingly attractive not only to birds and other wildlife, but to people as well. The resulting development pressure threatens many of our most important local natural areas. Both Westchester and Putnam Counties are suffering from an onslaught of real estate development, with developers buying every unoccupied corner for commercial and residential construction. In the process, they are filling streams, paving wetlands, clearing forestland, and excavating hillsides. This loss of buffer land and increase in impervious surfaces poses a significant threat to human health and the environment. In addition, the loss of continuous migratory corridors threatens more than 31 species in New York State alone such as the Bicknell Thrush, and the Cerulean Warbler.

This is why a place you may not have considered strategic is now vital to wildlife; that place is your backyard. As suburban sprawl expands, residential backyards, institutional campuses, and other man-made green spaces are fast becoming the largest source of continuous wildlife habitat throughout the lower 48 states. That is why the National Audubon Society has launched Audubon at Home. This program is intended to provide home owners with the right tools and information so we can make environmentally sound and sustainable choices about how we live and build our communities.

Here at Bedford Audubon we have made a commitment to localize this program and use our Bylane Farm Sanctuary as a model Audubon At Home site. In the coming months we will expanding our site, and our programs, so that we can engage you, our neighbors, in simple steps that will improve the environmental health and habitat quality of our yards and neighborhoods. Together, our actions can have a substantial effect.

You can start by clicking here to see the resources currently available through our National Program. Then keep coming back as we add local resources, programs, and news that will help all of us make our communities environmentally sound and economically vibrant.

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