Category Archives: NEWS RELEASE

Smartphone App Uses Little Critters

NEWS RELEASE

Award-Winning Smartphone App uses Little Critters to do Big Things for Clean Water

ANS Hosts the Next Creek Critters Event September 29

For Immediate Release: September 21, 2018

For more information, contact Caroline Brewer at carolinebrewer@anshome.org or 301-652-9188, ext. 23 or Gregg Trilling at gregg.trilling@anshome.org or 240-426-7150.

CHEVY CHASE, MD – The Audubon Naturalist Society has won an innovation award from Bethesda Magazine for the ANS Creek Critters Program which features a free smartphone app where users can easily monitor water quality and protect local streams in the D.C. region. The award will be presented October 18 at the 10th annual Bethesda Green Gala.

The Creek Critters app allows users to identify small organisms – or critters – in local waterways. What lives at the bottom of streams -- benthic (meaning “bottom-dwelling”) macroinvertebrates – are indicators of water quality because these organisms exhibit a range of sensitivities to pollutants and stressors. Among the many critters are crayfish, snails, aquatic worms, and a large variety of insect larvae. App users generate Stream Health Reports based on their findings, and the reports are displayed on an interactive map. ANS and its partners have used Creek Critters to engage nearly 7,500 people at more than 200 events and activities. Adding those who have used the app independently of ANS, more than 10,000 people have been introduced to water quality monitoring through the app– with users posting data from all over the Washington, D.C. metro region, the United States, and abroad.

“The Creek Critters app is designed to make it easy for people to do this important work and the technology is turning users into powerful advocates,” said ANS Executive Director Lisa Alexander. “Now, with real-time knowledge, we can better protect our precious waterways.”

On September 29, ANS Creek Critter Program Manager Gregg Trilling will lead a field class for the Anacostia Watershed Society’s “Watershed Stewards Academy” students. Trilling and his band of trained interns, staff, and volunteers regularly fan out across the region to work with groups, visit schools, and present at conferences and festivals to maximize the number of people who hop into their local streams to check on water quality.

“I am still impressed with how this simple app along with a few nets and buckets has grown a community of clean water enthusiasts. Most people come to our events thinking only fish live in the creek. We can hear the oohs and ahhs when they find their first macro-invertebrate and by the time they leave, they are asking about the health of the stream and what they can do,” said award nominator Sarah Morse, Executive Director of the Little Falls Watershed Alliance.

An inspiration behind Creek Critters is ANS’s Water Quality Monitoring Program, one of the largest and longest-running citizen science programs in the country. Since the early 1990s, the program has operated throughout Montgomery County, Maryland, and in parts of the District of Columbia. The program is unique in that volunteers are trained to identify the organisms in the field and then release them alive, rather than preserving them in alcohol and sending them to a lab for identification.

The Creek Critters app launched in 2015. It’s available for free download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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Follow ANS at: 
www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Stormwater Pollution is Not Going Away

NEWS RELEASE

ANS Message to Montgomery County Council: Stormwater Pollution is Not Going Away

For Immediate Release: July 18, 2018
For more information, contact Caroline Brewer, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or 202-830-5115 or Eliza Cava, 301-652-9188, ext. 22, eliza.cava@anshome.org

CHEVY CHASE, MD – ANS Director of Conservation Eliza Cava issued the following statement in response to the Montgomery County Council’s vote on stormwater issues:

"Stormwater pollution is not going to go away. It is getting worse, with bigger, more intense storms an increasing fact of life due to climate change and more and more pavement and sprawl turning that rain into stormwater pollution. We must redouble our efforts to use green infrastructure to stop stormwater pollution from destroying our streams and infrastructure.

ANS will continue its long partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection to advise upon and watchguard the progress of this new contracting method, and continue to make recommendations about how to clean up our streams and watersheds for the benefit of nature and our communities.

The compromise is not perfect but it allowed the Council to pass a special appropriation, which was needed to get work moving again on these critical environmental projects. We're pleased that it includes commitments to green infrastructure and Low Impact Development projects that use lessons of nature to manage stormwater and heal our streams.

ANS thanks the Councilmembers who worked hard to make this special appropriation happen."

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About ANS: ANS is the oldest, independent environmental organization in the DMV. Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region’s iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS’s nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Follow ANS at www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets

ANS Parent Guide

ANS Parent Guide

NEWS RELEASE

ANS Experts Offer Parents Trusted ‘Recipes' Designed to Get Children to Revel in Nature

Parent Guide Provides Lowdown on How to Go From Screen Time to Green Time in No Time

For Immediate Release:  Thursday, June 21, 2018
For more information, contact Caroline Brewer, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or 202-830-5115 or or Lisa Goodnight, lglisagoodnight@gmail.com, 301-523-5394

CHEVY CHASE, MD – Just in time for summer, a brand new guide from the Audubon Naturalist Society offers families a little instruction book on how – and why -- to help children engage with nature. The ANS Parent Guide: How to Help Children Fall in Love with Nature (and Why), was written by ANS naturalists and educators. The guide is a response to the public health crisis of Americans spending more time in front of screens than ever before, and a tool for parents looking for fun, safe, and developmental activities for children, now that school is out.

The Parent Guide includes 11 fun, educational, and inspirational recipes, such as building forts and dams, tracking animals, dissecting flowers, growing herbs, taking color and shape hikes, and making music with trees. Recipes always include key ingredients for success, such as sticks, rocks, old clothes, hula hoops, and rulers. The guide also highlights dozens of the DC region’s most beautiful places to enjoy nature, meaning there are hundreds of ways to connect with the environment in this one handy book.

The “recipes” were designed with children 8 and younger in mind, but children-at-heart are invited to use it to explore as well.

The nature love book also offers links and summaries to scientific research about the physical, mental, emotional and social benefits of children spending more time outdoors.

"Let your youngsters be the master chefs of their environment!” the authors proclaim. “As your child’s sous chef, you can provide the raw materials they need to create something magical.”

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About ANS: ANS is the oldest, independent environmental organization in the DMV. Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region’s iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS’s nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Follow ANS at www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets

ANS Issues Earth Month Challenge for DC to Go Wild for at Least an Hour a Day

ANS Earth Month Challenge

NEWS RELEASE

60 Minutes a Day Earth Month Challenge Because, It’s Wild!

Americans Spend Hours in Front of Screens, Minutes Outdoors;
ANS Issues Earth Month Challenge for DC to Go Wild for at Least an Hour a Day

For Immediate Release:April 6, 2018
For more information, contact Caroline Brewer, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or 202-830-5115

CHEVY CHASE, MD – The Audubon Naturalist Society is challenging the DC area to get up and go outside – for the fun of it! Researchers say Americans live the majority of their lives indoors, despite the well-documented benefits of being in nature and the wilderness. ANS wants to buck this “indoor species” trend by showcasing more than 30 of the region’s most beloved outdoor spaces and challenging the DMV to spend more time – at least an hour a day - in nature for pleasure. Because scientific studies say the great outdoors is good for the mind, body, spirit, and creativity, ANS is hopeful that spending at least 60 minutes connecting with nature will become habit-forming, for adults, as well as children, who, one leading researcher says, are outdoors fewer than seven minutes a day, on average.

Fueled by the slogan, “Wild Places Are Closer than You Think. Follow Me!” the goal of the #ANSEarthMonth challenge is get people to visit outdoor spaces in the DMV, such as Rock Creek Park, Great Falls, the National Arboretum, Dumbarton Oaks, ANS’s Woodend and Rust nature sanctuaries, and the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, where Harriet Tubman grew up. (Download the ANS Earth Month Locations PDF)

Tubman and Henry David Thoreau are inspirations for the new campaign because of their extraordinary connections to nature. As for the modern-day benefits of being outdoors, here are a few facts:

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About ANS: ANS is the oldest, independent environmental organization in the DMV. Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region’s iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS’s nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Follow ANS at www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets

Environmental Champions

NEWS ALERT

Octavia E. Butler, Harriet Tubman Advocate and Other Trailblazers to Receive Awards February 28 at Taking Nature Black Conference

Black Environmental Stars Align at ANS's Environmental Champions Ceremony

For Immediate Release: February 27, 2018
For more information, contact Caroline Brewer, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or 301- 652-9188 x 23, or cell, 202-830-5115

Chevy Chase, MD – The Audubon Naturalist Society will salute national, regional, legacy, and youth environmental figures for engaging in service that improves the quality of life for under-resourced African American communities in ways that are unique, groundbreaking, and pioneering during the second-ever Taking Nature Black conference.

The 2018 #TakingNatureBlack Environmental Champions are:

MacArthur "Genius" Award-Winner Octavia Estelle Butler is the 2018 Taking Nature Black Legacy Environmental Champion. Butler, who died in 2006, was a writer, cultural critic, and literary force of nature. The Washington Post called her “a master storyteller and one of the finest voices in fiction, period.” Calling attention to environmental degradation and its effects on humanity was a theme she repeated in many of her science fiction novels.

Alan Spears, who played a crucial role in the campaign and designation of the Harriet Tubman Underground National Monument from 2011-13, is a National Environmental Champion. Alan is currently the Director of Cultural Resources at the National Parks Conservation Association. He helped gain passage of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Funding Re-authorization Act of 2008.  Recently, Alan led, co-led, or supported five successful national monument campaigns including Fort Monroe, Charles Young, Pullman, and Harriet Tubman.

Pioneering Environmental Justice Advocate Vernice Miller-Travis, a former program officer at the Ford Foundation, who created the foundation’s first-ever environmental justice grant-making portfolio, and who served as a member of the EPA's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, is also a National Environmental Champion. Vernice, in 2017, helped published a report on recommendations for how the EPA could more thoroughly integrate environmental justice considerations into core permitting functions.

Vince Leggett, an expert on the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, and the history of African Americans on the Bay dating back to the Underground Railroad, is a Regional Environmental Champion. Vince has served as historical consultant for several documentary film projects focused on the Chesapeake’s diverse history, including the nationally broadcast PBS documentary, The War of 1812. He also has served on the Advisory Committee for the Harriet Tubman National Park.

Award-Winning and Trailblazing Researcher and Environmental Health Scientist Dr. Sacoby Wilson, Director of the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health (CEEJH) Initiative at the University of Maryland, is also a Regional Environmental Champion. Wilson, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health in College Park, works in the areas of exposure science, environmental justice, environmental health disparities, water quality analysis, air pollution studies, sustainability, and more.

Kari Fulton, an award-winning environmental and climate justice advocate and organizer, who recently served as Interim Director of the Environmental Justice Climate Change Initiative, the first domestic coalition for Climate Justice, is being honored as a Regional Environmental Champion as well.

 

The conference's first Youth Environmental Champion is DaJuan Gay, a college student who has fought for low-income citizens to have access to the Chesapeake Bay, and stresses the importance of expanding environmental education to low-income and predominantly minority communities.

 

The Taking Nature Black Conference is a signature Black History Month event that celebrates African Americans in the environmental space, and provides educational, career-building, and networking opportunities.

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About ANS: ANS is the oldest, independent environmental organization in the DMV. Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region’s iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS’s nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Follow ANS at www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets

Preschoolers Become Scientists During Statewide STEMfest

NEWS RELEASE

Preschoolers Become Scientists During Statewide STEMfest

Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) invites kids to see how nature recycles itself on November 8!

October 19, 2017

For more information, contact ANS Communications Director Caroline Brewer at caroline.brewer@anshome.org or call, 301-652-9188 x 23.

Chevy Chase, MD – Preschoolers, ages 3 to 5, will explore the magical underground world of decomposers at the Audubon Naturalist Society’s (ANS) Woodend Sanctuary, as part of the Maryland statewide STEMfest, which celebrates innovations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and runs from October 31 to November 12.

Decomposers are organisms that help break down plant material and return the nutrients to the soil plants need to grow.   The kids will see how these organisms work their magic, by looking at soil collected from the sanctuary garden under microscopes, investigating composting worms, feeding the garden soil with worm compost, going on a mushroom hunt and starting a mushroom farm.

“(This event) will let them explore and be scientists, and that will inspire them to be confident and curious,” said ANS School Garden Manager Jenny Brown.  “Maybe they also start to see the environment as a loop, that there is no waste and that nature recycles.”

ANS is focusing on worms and mushrooms because they are the most readily available decomposers this time of year, and Brown thinks the youngsters will get a kick out of them.

“Worms are an instant hit with kids,” she said.  “(When it gets cold) they dig down deep to stay in the unfrozen parts of the ground, and then poop out (which helps the soil)… Poop always gets lots of giggles.”

What: ANS Celebrates STEMFEST with Preschoolers
Date: November 8, 2017
Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Woodend Nature Sanctuary, 8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815

# # #

About ANS: ANS is the oldest, independent environmental organization in the DMV. Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region’s iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS’s nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Follow ANS at www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets

TEMPLATE-news-release

NEWS ALERT

Headline goes here - Heading 2

Subhead goes here - Paragraph

For Immediate Release: Month Day, Year
For more information, contact Caroline Brewer, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or 301-652-9188, ext. 23

CITY, STATE – Text of news release or alert.

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

VA Students Show Off How Much They Dig Science and Healthy Eating

NEWS RELEASE

VA Students Show Off How Much They Dig Science and Healthy Eating

More than 150 Virginia students enjoyed the fruits of their garden labor on November 16, as part of American Education Week.

November 16, 2017

For more information, contact ANS Teacher Ellen McDougall at ellen.mcdougall@anshome.org or cell, 703-585-9179, or ANS Communications Director Caroline Brewer at caroline.brewer@anshome.org or cell, 202-830-5115

Sterling, VA – How do you get young people to dig science and eat healthy? Let them literally dig into the topic using shovels, seeds, compost, worms, water hoses, and training on how to grow something edible.

That’s the art and science behind Salad Science, an Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) program that’s sprouting love for nature and healthy eating by blending indoor and outdoor education with harvest parties. In celebration of hands-on science projects and American Education Week, around lunchtime at their school on Thursday, November 16, more than 150 Sully Elementary students in Sterling, VA (Loudoun County Public Schools District) harvested mature lettuce and made and ate salads from it.

5th graders and kindergartners at Sully planted lettuce seeds in September and watered and watched them sprout and grow inside large wooden beds in the school’s courtyard. Week by week, as the seeds grew, the students learned about plant life cycles, habitats, worms, decomposition, composting, nutrition, and much more. They made predictions, recorded their observations in journals and now have a better understanding of where food comes from and what it takes to get it to the table.

ANS Environmental Educator Ellen McDougall said Salad Science is a big deal for the students because they have fun while learning about the complex aspects of plant biology and nutrition.

“Salad Science has had many cross-curricular touch points – everything from science, math, art, and general health and nutrition. Eating a rainbow of toppings and discussing edible parts of a plant are key themes of the program. And students love eating salads made with the lettuces that they have grown with their friends,” McDougall said.

The Salad Science program has been a hit in Montgomery County for at least a decade and has now spread to schools in D.C. and Virginia. McDougall said Salad Science is also a great way to get kids to work together. After learning how to plant and take care of the lettuce, the 5th graders underwent “teacher training” and taught the kindergarteners how to make a garden grow. Both grades tended the garden and will party together with their harvest.

“I’m excited to see how this unique project will affect students at both grade levels,” she said. “The teaching teams believe Salad Science will become part of the school’s culture of working together to make progress.”

# # #

About ANS: ANS is the oldest, independent environmental organization in the DMV. Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region’s iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS’s nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Follow ANS at www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets

Preschoolers Become Scientists During Statewide STEMfest

Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) invites kids to see how nature recycles itself on November 8!

For Immediate Release – October 19, 2017
For more information contact caroline.brewer@anshome.org or call 301-652-9188 x 23

Chevy Chase, MD – Preschoolers, ages 3 to 5, will explore the magical underground world of decomposers at the Audubon Naturalist Society’s (ANS) Woodend Sanctuary, as part of the Maryland statewide STEMfest, which celebrates innovations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and runs from October 31 to November 12.

Decomposers are organisms that help break down plant material and return the nutrients to the soil plants need to grow.   The kids will see how these organisms work their magic, by looking at soil collected from the sanctuary garden under microscopes, investigating composting worms, feeding the garden soil with worm compost, going on a mushroom hunt and starting a mushroom farm.

“(This event) will let them explore and be scientists, and that will inspire them to be confident and curious,” said ANS School Garden Manager Jenny Brown.  “Maybe they also start to see the environment as a loop, that there is no waste and that nature recycles.”

ANS is focusing on worms and mushrooms because they are the most readily available decomposers this time of year, and Brown thinks the youngsters will get a kick out of them.

“Worms are an instant hit with kids,” she said.  “(When it gets cold) they dig down deep to stay in the unfrozen parts of the ground, and then poop out (which helps the soil)… Poop always gets lots of giggles.”

What: ANS Celebrates STEMFEST with Preschoolers
Date: November 8, 2017
Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Woodend Nature Sanctuary, 8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815

# # #

 About ANS:  ANS is the oldest, independent environmental organization in the DMV.  Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region’s iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and most recently Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement.  ANS’s nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Learn more about ANS here: www.anshome.orgwww.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety, and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets

VA Students Show Off How Much They Dig Science and Healthy Eating

More than 150 Virginia students enjoyed the fruits of their garden labor on November 16, as part of American Education Week.

For Immediate Release – November 16, 2017

For more information, contact ANS Teacher Ellen McDougall at ellen.mcdougall@anshome.org or cell, 703-585-9179, or ANS Communications Director Caroline Brewer at caroline.brewer@anshome.org or cell, 202-830-5115

Sterling, VA – How do you get young people to dig science and eat healthy? Let them literally dig into the topic using shovels, seeds, compost, worms, water hoses, and training on how to grow something edible.

That’s the art and science behind Salad Science, an Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) program that’s sprouting love for nature and healthy eating by blending indoor and outdoor education with harvest parties. In celebration of hands-on science projects and American Education Week, around lunchtime at their school on Thursday, November 16, more than 150 Sully Elementary students in Sterling, VA (Loudoun County Public Schools District) harvested mature lettuce and made and ate salads from it.

5th graders and kindergartners at Sully planted lettuce seeds in September and watered and watched them sprout and grow inside large wooden beds in the school’s courtyard. Week by week, as the seeds grew, the students learned about plant life cycles, habitats, worms, decomposition, composting, nutrition, and much more. They made predictions, recorded their observations in journals and now have a better understanding of where food comes from and what it takes to get it to the table.

ANS Environmental Educator Ellen McDougall said Salad Science is a big deal for the students because they have fun while learning about the complex aspects of plant biology and nutrition.

“Salad Science has had many cross-curricular touch points – everything from science, math, art, and general health and nutrition. Eating a rainbow of toppings and discussing edible parts of a plant are key themes of the program. And students love eating salads made with the lettuces that they have grown with their friends,” McDougall said.

The Salad Science program has been a hit in Montgomery County for at least a decade and has now spread to schools in D.C. and Virginia. McDougall said Salad Science is also a great way to get kids to work together. After learning how to plant and take care of the lettuce, the 5th graders underwent “teacher training” and taught the kindergarteners how to make a garden grow. Both grades tended the garden and will party together with their harvest.

“I’m excited to see how this unique project will affect students at both grade levels,” she said. “The teaching teams believe Salad Science will become part of the school’s culture of working together to make progress.”

# # #

About ANS: ANS is the oldest, independent environmental organization in the DMV. Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region’s iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS’s nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Learn more about ANS here: www.anshome.org, www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety, and www.Twitter.com/ANStweets