Pascagoula River Audubon Center
Moss Point, MS
Spring into Spring at PRAC as part of the Flock
On behalf of the Pascagoula River Audubon Center, I would like to invite you to be part of our flock by taking part in the 2021 Birds of a Feather Spring Fundraiser.

In this time of social distancing, the staff and advisory committee has developed a plan to safely engage the community and donors and provide time to enjoy the beauty of nature with family and friends. To celebrate the first day of spring, March 20, we invite all friends to join us for “Picnic at PRAC.”

Picnic at PRAC will be a day filled with enjoying nature, spring native plant sale information, kayaking, family fun, boat rides, entertainment and picnicking. Guests will choose an area for a picnic for a group of up to 6 people and will place an order for a meal delivered by Scranton’s.

Live entertainment will be provided from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. by "Jen and Tonic" from the bird hide and from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the front lawn by the "Black Bandanas." Picnic table reservations are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and meals will be available at 11 a.m.

All proceeds will go toward supplies and activities for the 2021 summer camps. If you need more information, please call us at (228) 475-0825.

Admission to the site is free. Picnic spots and food prices are below. NO BYOB, and under 21 alcohol consumption is not allowed. Reservations required by March 12.

$1 tickets will be sold for Chinese Auction from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Drawing at 2 p.m. The winner does not need to be present to win.

Masks must be worn if social distancing is not possible.

Click here to reserve your spot, choose your meal and get set for fun!
Poet and Painter to Show in Gallery
A mutual love for sun, sand and the gulf coast heritage has created a beautiful partnership between the poet and painter, and that beauty will be on display at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center from March 10 through May 3, 2021.

Author Perry Guy and Artist Tami Curtis have been commissioned to create a series of paintings and poetry focusing on local shore birds. As part of a GOMESA grant awarded to the Audubon Coastal Bird Stewardship program, this project is a two-part series of educational bird signs aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of protecting shore birds.

“There are a total of 12 signs that will be displayed in Harrison County,” said ACBS Manager Melinda Averhart. “Along with the illustrations, the artist and poet have also created a children’s book with these illustrations.”

The shore birds to be featured through art and illustration of the book Fine Feathered Friends/Birds of the Great Gulf Coast include Least Tern, Black Skimmer, Marbled Godwit, Snowy Plover, Laughing Gull and Great Blue Heron. A portion of the proceeds from the book sales will be donated to ACBS. 

Author Perry Guy spent his childhood and formative years on a dairy farm in Kentwood, Louisiana, which gives his work a zydeco flair.  He now makes his home on the Alabama Gulf Coast and writes about nature, family gatherings and the beauty of the Gulf Coast.  Other book titles by Guy include Treasures in the Sand, A Gulf Coast Christmas, Mardi Gras Boat Parade and The Great Gulf Coast Seafood Festival.

The art of Tami Curtis is highly influenced by the rich history, music, culture and nature of the south that she has spent a lifetime learning and loving.  She and her husband live in Bay St. Louis where she operates a gallery in the historic Century Hall.

For more information regarding the author and artist, visit their websites at http://www.tamicurtisstudios.com/ and https://www.thepainterandpoet.com.

Guests are invited to meet the poet and painter, view the art and purchase signed books during the opening reception of the Painter and Poet show at the Moss Point Fine Art Gallery from 4 to 6 p.m. on March 11, 2021, at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center. Refreshments, light snacks and beverages will be served from Dixie’s Perch, and anyone under 21 must be accompanied by an adult.  Admission to the opening reception is free; donations are encouraged.

For visitors attending the reception onsite, all social distancing protocols will be followed.  Guests inside the gallery will be limited, and masks are required inside the facility. 

For more information, please call the center at (228) 475-0825 or visit the website at https://pascagoula.audubon.org.
Summer Camp Planning is Underway
Plans are underway for Pascagoula River Audubon’s Discovery Summer Camps 2021. 

Camp for children entering Kindergarten through 2nd grade will be June 29 to July 2, 2021.  Camp for children entering 3rd through 5th grades will be July 12 to 16.

Camp will start daily at 9 a.m. and end at 1 p.m.  Campers must bring along a snack, sack lunch and prepare for outside adventure.

Thanks to a donation from the Federal Wildlife Service designed to assist with summer camp tuition, the price for this year has been discounted.  Tuition will be $100 for non-member campers and $90 for member campers.

The number of campers will be limited so that social distancing can be maintained.  The registration link will open on March 31.  Additional information will be posted on our website as it becomes available.  Sample Camp Schedule

9:00 – 9:15 Check in

9:15 – 10:15 Activity one

10:15 – 10:30 Snack Break

10:30 – 11:30 Activity two

11:30 – 12:00 Lunch

12:00 – 12:40 Story & Craft

12:40 – 1:00 Nature Play Ground
Spring Native Plant Sale
Native plants have begun arriving at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center in time to prepare for the 3rd Annual Spring Native Plant Sale.  

Thanks to a Vibrant Communities Grant from Chemours, more plants and shrubs will be available to help make your landscape come to life.

Some benefits of utilizing native plants in your landscape are:
  • Native plants are the foundation of our natural food chain and the key for attracting and supporting birds, butterflies and other wildlife.
  • These plants are adapted to our regional conditions and often require less maintenance and rarely require the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
  • They promote biodiversity and help strengthen and support local ecosystems.
Online plant sales will begin Monday, April 5, and end at noon Thursday, April 8.  Curbside pickup will be Friday, April 9, along with onsite sales from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Sales will continue Saturday, April 10, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. as long as supplies last.

Visitors to the center are welcome to peruse the supply of native plants during regular hours of operation, and sales of some plants will take place on March 20.

For more information and a complete list of available species, visit HERE
Native Plants Almost Ready for Adoption
Soaring High After Eight Years: Mississippi’s Coastal Bird Stewardship Program reaches new heights
The Audubon Mississippi Coastal Bird Stewardship Program is entering into its eighth year of promoting the conservation and management of coastal birds. The program has grown tremendously since its launch in 2014.

Started as a direct result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster, the program uses a grassroots approach to conservation, building constituents and advocates to support healthy populations of coastal birds and habitats. The program relies on volunteers and works to form strategic partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies, academic institutions, and community organizations. With the help of these volunteers and partners, we aim to conserve, restore, and protect a network of coastal sites for local, migratory, and breeding birds. Some of the program’s focal species include Least Terns, Black Skimmers, Snowy and Wilson’s Plovers.


Building on the foundation laid by the Pascagoula River Audubon Center and the Mississippi Coast Audubon Society, the program continues to monitor bird populations using the Audubon Coastal Bird Survey (ACBS). While ACBS has been adopted by Louisiana, Texas, and Alabama to track post-oil spill populations, Mississippi remains its stronghold, with 26 sites that are surveyed by staff and dedicated community volunteers (interactive ACBS map).

In 2019, a banding project was started with a focus on Least Terns and plovers. Preliminary resight information is informing biologists of where and how much time these individuals are spending on the Mississippi coast. Meanwhile, every summer, our seasonal and volunteer Bird Stewards help protect Mississippi’s mainland breeding Least Terns and Black Skimmers by symbolically fencing nesting areas and conducting outreach with the public. One thing is for sure, our work has paid off! Stewardship efforts have resulted in a 60% increase in Least Tern nests in the state.

Since 2014, Audubon volunteers have contributed over 6,000 hours to protect and monitor coastal birds. Under a recently secured GOMESA grant, the program continues to expand and is piloting its first year of migratory/wintering bird stewardship, as well as sea turtle monitoring in Harrison County! If are interested in the program and would like to become a volunteer, please visit volunteer here or for general questions email melinda.averhart@audubon.org. We look forward to all we can achieve together and will see you out on the beaches!

 
Freshly banded Least Tern Chick, Gulfport
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Pascagoula River Audubon Center
5107 Arthur St., Moss Point, MS 39563
(228) 475-0825 | pascagoula.audubon.org

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