Great Texas Birding Classic Conservation Grants

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department


Grant amount: US $1,000 - US $20,000

Anticipated deadline: May 1, 2019 7:00am PDT

Applicant type: Organizations

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Texas

Location of residency: Texas

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Overview:

Conservation Grants can be awarded to projects anywhere in Texas. The Birding Classic has donated $918,500 in conservation funding to nature tourism and avian habitat restoration, enhancement, and acquisition projects throughout the state!

Number of grants awarded (and their amounts) are determined based on team registration fees (independent and sponsored) and corporate sponsorship dollars collected each year. The Birding Classic is a cost-recovery event, so once minimal event costs are covered all remaining funds go to conservation grants in Texas. Organizations are not required to register a team in the Birding Classic to be eligible to submit a project proposal.

All approved projects submitted by the deadline will be provided to winning Birding Classic teams to select which projects are funded by Conservation Grants. Conservation Grants awarded each year will include projects meeting conservation grant criteria for at least one each of the following (dependent on funds raised):

General Conservation Grant - Birding Classic staff and winning team(s) work together to select project(s) from approved project list. Winning team(s) include one or more of the top scoring Adult Big Day team (Regional and Statewide Tournament category(ies) with the highest number of registered teams) and/or the top scoring Adult Weeklong Tournament team.

Lone Star Bird Award – One randomly selected Big Sit! team chooses grant award project from approved project list (team selection is based on the Lone Star Bird rules and does not necessarily go to the top scoring team).

State Parks Grant – Birding Classic staff and the winning State Park Tournament team work together to select a state park project to receive funding from the approved project list.

Nature Tourism Grant – partial funding for Texas Parks and Wildlife nature tourism programs (such as Great Texas Wildlife Trail map reprints). 

Project Goals

Projects should do one or more of the following:

  • Benefit bird populations
  • Protect or enhance areas important to birds (e.g., land acquisition, habitat restoration)
  • Improve or enhance access for birders and wildlife watchers while protecting habitat for birds (e.g., creating a boardwalk, photography blind, or designated viewing area at a birding site can keep visitors restricted to certain areas allowing restored or native habitat to remain intact in other areas)
  • Enhance or interpret the public’s experience in nature to increase conservation awareness (e.g., interpretive signage can increase the public’s understanding and knowledge of native wildlife, the dangers of invasive species, etc. allowing them to connect in a more meaningful way and have a better awareness of conservation issues and native species).

Conservation Grant Amounts

Will be determined by total amount of funding raised through team registration fees and sponsorship donations with the goal of awarding grants in one or more of the following amounts:

  • $20,000 (acquisition or restoration only)
  • $10,000 (acquisition or restoration only)
  • $5,000
  • $1,000

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • General Characteristics of sites considered for conservation grant proposals:
    • Sites should be natural areas or have good restoration potential.
    • There is no minimum or maximum size, but boundaries must be clearly definable and large enough to encompass birds’ needs, such as areas for feeding, roosting, nesting, etc.
    • Areas may be protected as a preserve, refuge, sanctuary, or with a conservation easement, and the area should be managed as native wildlife habitat.
    • All types of land ownership will be considered, but private land can only be included if the owner agrees to a habitat management plan that allows public access or the property is under a conservation easement.
  • All Proposed Projects Must:
    • Spend awarded funds within 18 months of receipt of funds and provide a short written report with digital photos showing project fulfillment at project completion to the Birding Classic staff.
    • Indicate on the pre-proposal the Great Texas Wildlife Trail region (see map) in which the project occurs
    • Be in long term or permanent conservation status
    • Not include general overhead, funding salaries, or purchase of capital equipment (up to 50% of grant funds can be used for contract specialty services such as operating heavy machinery, herbicide application, professional landscaping services, etc.)
    • Include an avian monitoring component or other related measurement to show conservation success. Examples of monitoring options include but are not limited to the following:
      • Seasonal bird surveys and list submission to eBird
      • Conservation outreach data collected (increased sustainable visitor access, improved visitor understanding of conservation issues, visitor counts, etc.)
    • Incorporate one or more of the following categories
      • Acquisition of high priority habitats (see the Texas Conservation Action Plan’s Priority Habitat list for your region) or areas of importance to large concentrations of breeding, migrating or wintering birds, or important avian sites that include:
        • Breeding sites for endangered species or high priority birds
        • Migrant stopover sites or staging areas for migrating birds
        • Hawk watch sites for migrating raptors
        • Sites with colonial-nesting birds
        • Sites with extensive populations of wintering waterfowl, grassland birds, and other species
        • Sites that include priority species from the Texas Conservation Action Plan and/or benefit state or federal threatened and endangered species or species of concern
        • Sites included on the American Bird Conservancy’s Globally Important Bird Areas or Department of Defense Partners in Flight Important Bird Areas
      • Restoration of high priority habitats (see the Texas Conservation Action Plan’s Priority Habitat list for your region)
      • Enhancement projects for wildlife viewing that allow some level of public access (Allowed for $5,000 and $1,000 project categories only; examples includeboardwalks, viewing towers, blinds, site interpretation, etc.)

Preferences:

  • Seek matching funds. We are interested in projects that leverage grant dollars to accomplish more for conservation.