Audubon has been protecting the Platte River for cranes, wildlife, and people for over 47 years.
Sandhill Cranes. Photo: Richard Derevan.
Audubon engages and involves the public on issues surrounding water rights and water quality; restores habitats along rivers, wetlands, and deltas; and explores and implements market-based solutions that contribute to the achievement of our water goals.
For more than 45 years, Audubon has made a commitment to conserve and restore the Platte River ecosystem for the birds and wildlife that depend upon it. The Platte River is at a critical juncture where water shortages and drought are becoming the new normal. There is growing demand for the little bit of water left and wildlife can’t concede any more without dire consequences for their survival.
Audubon is prepared to mount an ambitious campaign to protect and restore critical habitat, expand outreach and engagement, and serve broader audiences. With support from generous funders, we’ll create a resilient Platte River ecosystem to support America’s Great Migration.
Goal One: Expand Habitat and Protect Water
We will not only continue to improve the habitat at Rowe Sanctuary, we will work to create “Rowe-like” habitat complexes throughout the protected reach of the Platte River and fight to keep water for wildlife in this river. This work will not only support the Sandhill Crane migration; it gives the Whooping Crane population a better chance of survival.
Goal Two: Create Premiere Crane Watching programs
Thanks to early funding from supporters, we will begin construction of new Discovery Stations this spring. They will be state-of-the-art and elevate the facilities here to match the world-famous crane viewing that guests experience. We designed the stations to accommodate a broader audience as today’s visitors continue to represent a larger cross-section of the population. The Discovery Stations will also serve visitors year-round as outposts for programs and places to linger along the trails.
Goal Three: Celebrate the platte river Year-round
We will expand the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center to include a dedicated education space and a new community outreach area. The new spaces will allow us to grow crane season offerings, our vital volunteer program, and year-round events. An immersive trail system with boardwalks over wetlands will draw visitors to more closely explore the diverse Platte River. Interactive exhibits in the center, on the trails, and at the Discovery Stations will explore the natural and cultural stories of the Platte River focusing on migratory birds and engagement in Audubon’s mission