Commons Ford Update: October 2012

Many exciting activities and plans in connection with the Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Project:

1. CoFo Meeting and Mixer/New Committees. We had a great turnout on September 30 and a fun event. Most importantly, we formed a Fundraising Committee chaired by Diane Sherrill and an Education Committee chaired by Aaron Brewer. Leigh Jandle has also agreed to serve as Community Liaison to help solidify the link between residents/businesses in the area and the project.

We will eventually provide regular committee updates to the organization membership. As for now, the Fundraising Committee is focusing on activities for 2013 and the Education Committee is beginning to identify contacts with schools and organizations in the area to promote awareness of the restoration project.

2. Communications Officer. We are looking for a volunteer Communications Officer who can spare, at the very most, a couple of hours per week to assist with our communications efforts. We need someone with a tiny bit of tech savvy to help post updates on the blog, Facebook page and to explore other social media outlets, as well as assist with posting regular updates to the organization members. The individual does not need to worry about creating or preparing the updates, but simply assisting with the uploading and dissemination of the information. All of this can be done on a flexible schedule and from wherever your computer is located. If anyone is interested, please contact us at this email address.

3. Monthly Bird Walks at Commons Ford. Due to the popularity of Travis Audubon field trips to Commons Ford as well as the increase in bird activity there (see #4 below), we are now scheduling monthly bird walks at the park. The field trip leaders will come from a large pool of experienced birders. The first field trip will be led by Craig Rasmussen on Saturday, November 17 (with trips already scheduled for December, January and February). While the trips are promoted by Travis Audubon Society, you do not need to be a member of the organization to participate (although we encourage each and every one of you to join TAS). We hope to see you on one of these bird walks soon as there is no better excuse for visiting, and keeping tabs on, the new prairie. For more information and to register for the November field trip click on the following link: Commons Ford Field Trips

4. New Single Day Bird Species Record. Three birders (Maggie Burnett, Eric Carpenter and Ed Fair) tallied 72 species at Commons Ford on the morning of Sunday, November 4. This is a single day record for the park (with records kept since 2001) breaking the previous record of 67 species set on October 2, 2010. The previous record was set during the Big Day in the Park fundraiser when over 50 people will counting species all day. Most of the species seen yesterday were associated with the prairie in some fashion giving the first strong indication of the impact of the restoration. We will continue to monitor throughout the winter, but this is the kind of information that needs to be broadcast throughout the community, as it is strong evidence in support of prairie restoration efforts.

5. Austin Parks Foundation/New Donation Tools. We are working with Austin Parks Foundation to develop new and easy-to-use donation tools which will be accessible from a number of sites and even “on the fly” at the park. Stay tuned for more details. If you are interested in making a donation right now in support of this important and ongoing project, please click on the following link: Donate

Thank you for your continuing support and interest. Remember that membership in the organization is free. Please spread the word about the organization and let people know that all they have to do to join is to send us an email.

Ed Fair
Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Organization