Complete Campus Conservation Renewal

Complete Campus Conservation Renewal

Project Leads: Emily Ohman, Chase McCleary

Sponsor: Bears for Birds

Project Themes: Habitat Restoration; Education, Outreach, and Behavior Change

2021 Application Submission

Project Description:

The UC Berkeley Complete Campus Conservation Renewal Project is a multifaceted project aimed at the intersections of ecosystems and community. Bears for Birds is a campus chapter of the National Audubon Society, a nonprofit dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats, and the Complete Campus Conservation Project shares the same objective — by constructing owl boxes on and near campus, this proposal will provide birds with the ability to not only thrive in urban ecosystems, but to be integral to them. Owls are natural predators of rodents that pillage gardens, and building owl boxes within them will help enforce local food sovereignty by protecting these spaces in a sustainable and ecologically beneficial manner rather than turning to pesticides or chemicals. Being able to rely on a steady supply of organic local food will, in turn, empower the community to centralize its food system rather than relying on global markets or being confined to urban food deserts, illustrating the jointly favorable outcomes of making just one space more bird-friendly. Additionally, this project will provide members with educational and scientific materials to enable them with supplies that will enrich their natural experiences. Historically, the outdoor movement has centered around wealthy, able-bodied, often white people, and science itself can be very exclusionary in similar ways — Bears for Birds was founded with the explicit goal of making ecology accessible to people of color and marginalized communities through birdwatching and are committed to our goal of empowering members with their own scientific tools and knowledge with which they can nurture their personal environmental journeys.

Project Goals:

1. To strengthen the capacity of birds to establish permanently on school grounds and to educate students on the benefits of continuing to integrate the campus with local ecology.
2. To construct multiple owl boxes that will be used in the near future by one or more owls, potentially of different species, to influence the ecosystem from the top down once given an urban space to thrive.
3. To allow for community members to perform citizen science by which sustainability and an empowering, renewed affection for the ecosystem we live in might be realized