Response to COVID-19
Updated 18 March 2020
The health and wellbeing of our members and the communities in which they live are of the utmost importance to all of us here at Alabama Audubon. So in light of recent developments related to the spread of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) in the United States, I wanted to reach out to all of you and share some information on what we’re doing here at Audubon to help keep our flock safe, and to do our part to slow the spread of this dangerous virus.
FIELD TRIPS, CLASSES, AND OTHER PROGRAMS
Effective today, Alabama Audubon is canceling all field trips, classes, and other public programming between now and 18 April 2020 and Audubon Mountain Workshop. We’re also suspending all in-person programming until further notice. We are keeping a close eye on the developing situation and will cancel more upcoming events if necessary. For more on refunds, please see below.
COASTAL BIRD BANDING AT FORT MORGAN
Along with our partners at Fort Morgan State Historic Site, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Mississippi State University, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we’ve also made the difficult decision to close the Fort Morgan bird-banding station for the spring 2020 migratory season. Given that our Coastal Bird Banding Event regularly draws hundreds of people from around the country to a small outdoor space, we feel that continuing with the event as scheduled would violate the best practices laid out by area health authorities. We apologize to all who were excited to attend, and look forward to welcoming all of you back to the coast in future seasons.
AUDUBON MOUNTAIN WORKSHOP
After extensive consultation with the Executive Committee of the Alabama Audubon Board of Directors, I’ve made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Audubon Mountain Workshop. Given the Workshop’s storied history and its dedicated following, this is not a decision that we take lightly. But Alabama is facing an unprecedented (at least within our lifetimes) public health crisis, and the latest comments from our State Health Department are not reassuring for events scheduled in early May: https://www.al.com/news/2020/03/coronavirus-restrictions-could-last-3-to-4-months-alabama-health-department-says.html
The health and safety of our flock is always our chief concern. Because our membership tends to be older, and because the Workshop entails fairly close contact in confined spaces with family-style dining, we feel that these conditions are simply too dangerous vis-à-vis the spread of COVID-19. For more on refunds, please see below.
We understand that financial considerations are important, so we’re liberalizing our refund policy for all events, classes, and field trips occurring between now and 01 June, providing for a full refund up to the day before the event begins.
For more information on refunds or our cancellation policies, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll continue to communicate with you as this situation unfolds, and we appreciate your understanding as we do our best to help do our part to contain this public-health situation.
On a more personal note, I’ve had several people tell me during the last two weeks that the best part of Alabama Audubon is the people. I’ve always believed that, and I think that difficult times like these make it clearer than ever. Take care of yourselves, and I look forward to seeing you out on a bird walk again soon.
Be well, and best wishes,
Ansel Payne, PhD