Friends of Huntley Meadows Park
2024 Annual Birdathon
Lily Kenyon, the 2023 Resource Management (RM) Intern said of her time working with Huntley Meadows Park (HMP) staff and volunteers: “Everyone I met was extremely helpful, positive, and passionate about their work. Volunteers and staff alike were always more than willing to share their expertise, and I am truly grateful for all the knowledge that was shared with me this summer.” David Nichols, the 2023 Naturalist Intern stated that, “One of my biggest takeaways from this internship is that I really enjoy interpretation work and relating natural-resource facts to the general public. It feels good knowing that I can make a difference in someone’s perspective about the Park and nature as a whole.” Learn more about Lily’s and David’s experiences by reading their contributions to our 2023 fall newsletter; newsletter archives located HERE.
Experiences like Lily’s and David’s are why, early on many a May morning, Park staff and volunteers have walked the trails through HMP to count birds. This annual survey, held since 1996, evolved as an event to remember and honor two exceptional men: Ken Howard and Ed Weigel. Both were volunteers who shared their love of nature with any Park visitor lucky enough to chat with them. Their work continues through the Park’s RM Internship, made possible by funds raised through the HMP Birdathon. This internship provides a young person with needed hands-on experience as the intern begins a career in conservation. Over the years, many on the Board of Friends of Huntley Meadows Park (FOHMP) have had the privilege of interacting with the interns, and we all believe this opportunity has a positive impact on their future endeavors as the next generation of stewards of our parks and green spaces.
Those who participate in the bird count fundraiser for the interns enjoy their involvement with this campaign. They have counted birds in all kinds of conditions, from cold and rainy to downright hot, tallying anywhere from 90 to as many as 108 species in one day! But no matter what happens, the feeling is that it’s always such a treat to be in the Park. Anticipation of meeting a new RM Intern and what valuable experiences that intern will receive provides trail conversation throughout the morning.
The FOHMP Board requests donations to support this annual event. Your generous donation will help us reach our goal of $3,000 to fund the 2024 RM Intern. You can donate a set amount, an amount for every bird counted, or an amount for each species counted. Donations can be made online by clicking on one of the “Donate” buttons, located at the top and bottom of this page.
The Board, Friends of Huntley Meadows Park