From $2 Tuesdays to military discounts and Parish Appreciation Days, there were many ways for members of the community to enjoy an Audubon visit in 2016. For example, moms were admitted free to Audubon Zoo on Mother’s Day, and dads were welcomed in free on Father’s Day, and the Insectarium offered free admission to everyone in honor of Museum Day.
Mentoring Our Future
The Son of a Saint mentorship program partnered with Audubon in 2016 on “keeper for a day” trips to Audubon museums. This exceptional program is for fatherless local boys ages 10-13. Audubon employees who led unique behind-the-scenes experiences for the young men were moved and honored to make a difference for these boys, and everyone at Audubon looks forward to a continuing the partnership in 2017.
Rewarding Hard Work
Hard work equals great rewards for Louisiana’s best middle and high school students recognized through a partnership with the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation and Audubon Nature Institute. 205,000 students across the state received free memberships to Audubon attractions, along with free admission for their families on Taylor Family Free Days in May and August, continuing a program that has rewarded outstanding students for more than two decades.
Evenings in the Park with Audubon
Newman Bandstand in Audubon Park provided the perfect setting for two free concert series, one in spring and one in fall, presented by Bellwether Technology and IBERIABANK. The Music Under the Oaks concert series invited guests to bring lawn chairs, sit back and enjoy music in the Park. The popular concerts celebrate Audubon Park Conservancy, an annual fund to support the daily operations of Audubon Park. The next series is scheduled for spring of 2017.
Reviving a Community Treasure
As construction at the new Audubon Louisiana Nature Center drew closer to completion in 2016, hundreds of volunteers came together for three Citgo Tree Planting Days in partnership with NOLA Tree Project and other community groups. Nearly 1,700 native trees were planted, helping to restore the Nature Center as a treasured green space for family recreation and environmental education. The Nature Center reopens in 2017.
Doing Good Work, Having Fun
Audubon continued to put the FUN in fundraisers in 2016, as events raised money to support efforts from education and conservation initiatives to Zoo exhibit improvements. In September, Scales & Ales at the Aquarium lit up the Mississippi riverfront after dark for the 7th year, and Whitney Zoo-To-Do and Zoo-To-Do for Kids presented by Tulane Pediatrics brought thousands to the Zoo after hours to party under the oaks. Toast for the Coast, in partnership with the New Orleans Pelicans, put a festive spin on support of our shared conservation education mission, with a focus on preserving Louisiana’s wetlands. Sponsors from across the community, volunteers by the hundreds and community-spirited ticket holders helped make these parties some of the most successful philanthropic events in the country.