Columbia Audubon Society is excited to be a partner in the newly formed group, Lights Out Heartland, a regional offshoot of National Audubon Society’s Light Out program. The purpose is to raise awareness about light pollution’s negative impact on bird migrations, and work with businesses and individuals to reduce access light during peak migration periods. This new Heartland chapter is a partnership between the Missouri Chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association, Audubon Center at Riverlands, Burroughs Audubon Society, Columbia Audubon Society, Johnson County Community College, Missouri River Bird Observatory, St. Louis Arts Chamber of Commerce, and St. Louis Audubon Society. As the group grows, we are hoping to bring in more partners from across the state of Missouri, as well as bordering states, bringing in conservation and business organizations from across the Heartland region.

September is our kick-off month, and we will be promoting bird-safe practices on our social media channels, some members will be reaching out to businesses with bird-safe practices, and we are partnering with the National Park Service at the St. Louis Gateway Arch for a Lights Out online event on September 26th. More info can be found on the Facebook event page here.

How can you get involved with this new Lights Out Heartland group? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we will be posting information about light pollution and the effect on birds, as well as tips on making bird-friendly lighting choices. Clicking the share and retweet buttons is an easy way to spread this important information. You may also enjoy checking out the new website, with educational resources on the Learn page. We are excited to keep expanding, and are looking forward to the future possibilities of this new group, which will be continually expanding our outreach and ways for others to get involved.

Please let me know if you have any questions, or any other conservation concerns, you can reach me at brookewidmar@gmail.com. Thanks!