Holiday Hobbit for Wildlife

Cardinal Autumn Leaves

Hobbits like to give others gifts on their birthdays, and since today is my birthday I want to give something back to wildlife.

The Holiday season is often about buying STUFF to give to our friends and loved ones, but what if we gave something meaningful to those we loved that also had an immediate benefit for wildlife and our environment?

Making a donation in your loved ones name to a local nature, wildlife, or other organization working to protect wildlife is a wonderful way to show your love.

Unlike the big national organizations with their corporate business model and large salaries and overhead to cover, giving to a local nature or wildlife organization means that all of your hard-earned dollars will be put to immediate use in working to protect wildlife and their habitats.

I’ve asked my team members for their suggestions and we’ve come up with a great list of local organizations to get you started:

My pick this year:

Friends of the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

I learned so much about birds and birding from the many dedicated volunteers who lead bird walks every weekend around the refuge. This refuge, located in the shadow of the Philadelphia Airport, is a shining example of protecting urban habitat.

Debbie Roberts recommends:

My first suggestion is to donate to your local land trust, those non-profit organizations dedicated to the preservation and conservation of open spaces which often form the backbone of the wildlife corridors we so often talk about on BWG & NPWG. Here in southwestern Connecticut, we have the Aspetuck Land Trust  and the New Canaan Land Conservation Trust

My second suggestion is to support your state’s butterfly association. I’m a member of the Connecticut Butterfly Association  and for a minimal membership fee ($10), I received a list of the butterflies in my state and a list of their respective larval host plants. If your state doesn’t have a butterfly association, consider joining the North American Butterfly Association.

Ellen Sousa says:

I second the suggestion to donate to local land trusts. These are the people on the streets working together to save open spaces locally…

Vincent Vizachero likes:

I’m surely not objective, but local watershed protection groups like the one I work with are often great advocates for native plants through their restoration work and rain garden installations.

Check out Blue Water Baltimore 

Kelly Brenner suggests:

I’m biased also as I’m on the board but I have to pick Seattle Audubon Society

Beatriz Moisset says:

Local organizations are the best bet, it seems. After seeing all the abuses of some large fund raisers, I have become weary. I see how dedicated the workers of local groups are and how money would make a big difference. I give locally, nowadays:

Perhaps the better known is Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve.

My favorite, just because it is close to me, is Briar Bush Nature Center. Then, there are:

We are blessed to have so many nearby.

How are you being a hobbit for the holidays and giving back? 

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  1. says

    Some great suggestions! But first of all, Happy Birthday!!

    I always try to find a local entity to donate my time and money to instead of a national group.
    My local nature center is a model in the state for conservation and education. They are constantly working to improve every day. Quite a few of my Christmas gifts have come from their Creekside Shop.

    I think donating on a local level not only are you helping nature and wildlife in your own community but it’s a great way to network with other like minded people.

    I’ve met master gardeners for my state that have taken me to location to film some fantastic woodland wildflowers that I would never have known about otherwise.

    Once the people in these groups get to know and trust you, it opens up all kinds of doors. While the national groups may be important, I always look for a local organization to help in any way I can.
    Kevin J Railsback recently posted..Marooned Without a Compass

    • says

      Thanks for the birthday wishes, Kevin :)
      I agree totally about giving locally, not just with money, but also by giving the gift of time. Most of the local organizations in my area are dependent on volunteers to accomplish their mission. They are seriously understaffed and underfunded, so you can make a huge difference by volunteering your time with them.
      Carole Sevilla Brown recently posted..The Holiday Wildlife Garden

      • says

        Absolutely, I think a lot of organizations need volunteers more than they do money.
        The local dog rescue I volunteer at is made up of all people who volunteer their time. I also take care of their website as well as photograph the dogs in hopes they will find a new forever home.

        My local nature center is always looking for volunteers as well. Most of their programs are in the mornings so I can’t help out but I’ve shown my films etc in the evenings as well as help promote the nature center through my films.

        I’ve been filming at my local nature center’s tallgrass prairie for over a year. My goal is to complete an educational film that they can use however they see best and give something back for having such a great place for me to film nature and wildlife.
        Kevin J Railsback recently posted..Wolves Keep the Ecosystem in Balance

  2. says

    I, too, am sending Happy Birthday wishes, Carole. And thanks for the all the giving you do to wildlife throughout the year. I like giving to local groups and projects. However, I appreciate Monarch Watch and the North American Butterfly Association and also include them in my giving.
    Betty Hall recently posted..A monarch film I hope you’ll see

  3. says

    Happy birthday! Hope it’s great as chocolate cake. I love the hobbits’ idea of giving a gift on one’s birthday. I will have to practice this hobbit tradition each year. We have a wonderful land trust in our neck of the woods or, er river, the Thousand Islands Land Trust. We also have the Indian River Lakes Conservancy. I also like to support Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology here in NY State and just signed my nieces up for Project Feeder Watch for Christmas – shhh don’t tell! I asked Santa for a (renewed) Wild Ones membership so I hope I’ve been good. This is a thoughtful post and a wonderful idea for gifting.


  1. […] to explore and observe nearby nature and plant communities, but they need our help to survive. Please consider volunteering your time at your local park, nature center, or wildlife refuge. You’ll meet other cool people and work to make a […]

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