My car is in the shop.  Those boulders at MDC parking lots move faster than you'd think.

So, I've spent the morning doing volunteer work--and this is work, because I'd rather be out birding with the rest of you.

Today's task has been to calculate the number of volunteer hours Audubon Society of Missouri members have spent birding Missouri State Parks in July, 2019.

Why the heck would anyone do that?

Short answer:  The new SPARKS contract (no longer a simple Letter of Agreement) stipulates that to meet the contractual obligations ASM must provide 1,000 hours of volunteer activity.  The primary activity is to bird state parks and record the visit/hours, etc., in eBird.  Sounds simple...BUT...

To reach the goal of 1,000 hours, we need to average about 80 hours of birding in state parks per month.  Our total for July is only about 37 hours, and one-third of that is by one individual:  Mark Haas.  Thank you, Mark!

If I could have counted the state park hours birded by non-ASM members, the total would have been double--about 75 hours.

So, as ASM's Conservation Partnership Coordinator, I suggest two actions that will go a long way toward furthering habitat development and conservation education in Missouri through dollars earned through SPARKS:

1.  ASM members, please spend more of your birding time in a state park--any state park;

2.  If you are an active birder and not a member of ASM, please join--it's only $20 per year.  ASM brings you this listserv, a Facebook birding group and much more that deserves your support.  Join at

Thank you, and bodacious birding,

Edge Wade
ASM Conservation Partnership Coordinator
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