Leave the Leaves

Sustainable Communities: Environmental Resilience

A carpet of newly fallen leaves

New Hope Audubon Society has been awarded a Sustainable Communities grant from the Triangle Community Foundation in the amount of $15,000. Grant funds will be used to create and pilot a “Leave the Leaves” public education program enhancing environmental conservation efforts in our local communities. The unrestricted grant is to address biodiversity and healthy ecosystems that support birds and other wildlife through “Leave the Leaves.” Using a nature-based strategy or solution, the “Leave the Leaves” program will rely on the natural system of decay to combat storm-water runoff, invasive plant proliferation and allow a diverse ecosystem to thrive naturally. Leave the Leaves program objectives:

Luna moths overwinter in the leaf litter in cocoons,
emerging as adults in the spring – photo by Barbara Driscoll
  1. Educate residents about the economic and environmental benefits of leaving the leaves.
  2. Develop and provide student toolboxes for teachers (specific grades) centered on leave the leaves using NC’s Standard Course of Study
    content standards.
  3. Provide educational opportunities for local underrepresented undergraduate students to assist with delivery of presentations to local
    community groups.
  4. Solicit neighborhoods to volunteer for this project.
Brown Thrasher foraging in the leaf litter – photo by Norm Budnitz

For questions or ways to get involved with this project, send email with the subject line “Leave the Leaves” to newhopeaudubon@gmail.com. For more information about why leaves are so important, read our two blog articles on the subject, Leave the Leaves! and Littering with Leaves.

Triangle Community Foundation is building a stronger Triangle for all. By working with dedicated donors and strong nonprofits, they are able to guide gifts in a strategic way to fill in gaps, reduce inequities, and solve the region’s most pressing challenges. The Foundation is working tirelessly in the Triangle region of North Carolina to help build a more vibrant community for everyone. By taking a broad view, they are uniquely positioned to identify gaps, support the most important needs, and shape a brighter future for generations to come.

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