The Audubon Society of Central Maryland (ASCM) is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization whose members share an active interest in wildlife in general, and birding in particular, along with an overriding concern for the well-being of our shared environment. They are an active chapter of the National Audubon Society.
The mission of the Audubon Society of Central Maryland is to protect and restore birds, other wildlife and their habitats through education and action, for the benefit of people and the earth.
The ASCM field of membership includes Howard County, as well as Carroll and Frederick Counties and the northern portion of Montgomery County.
- Bird Sanctuaries — The Audubon Society of Central Maryland maintains more than 270 acres of sanctuary habitat for birds and other wildlife in Frederick County. The two ASCM sanctuary properties are located near the towns of Mount Airy and New Market, Maryland. There are always ongoing and planned projects related to the maintenance and improvement of these sanctuary facilities, and volunteers are always needed to help out.
- Nature Walks — ASCM provides free, family-friendly Nature Walks on a monthly basis. These walks alternate between the two ASCM sanctuaries and are designed to acquaint participants with the natural beauty of our area, as well as the resources and varied habitat the two sanctuaries provide. Each month’s walk is keyed to the season, with several including up-close demonstrations of science and conservation techniques such as bird identification and counting, bird banding and Monarch butterfly tagging. The ASCM Nature Walk schedule is online at: www.centralmdaudubon.org/naturewalks.htm.
- Bird Seed Sales — ASCM holds two bird seed sales each year: one in late Fall, and another in mid-Winter. Customers place and pay for their orders in advance, and select one of two pick-up sites and dates. Bird seed sale proceeds support ASCM sanctuary projects as well as ASCM educational projects and grants. In recent years, ASCM has funded grants for local school gardens. Howard County gardens that have been helped include Trinity School, Lime Kiln Middle, Hammond Elementary, St. John’s Parish Day School, Reservoir H.S., Long Reach H.S., Howard County Conservancy, Cradlerock School, Deep Run E.S., Pointers Run E.S., and Ilchester E.S. See the ASCM web site for details.
- Native Plant Sale — The ASCM Native Plant Sale is held on the last Saturday of April each year. Along with being another important fund-raiser for ASCM sanctuaries and projects, this popular event also helps to educate the public on the importance of fostering a non-invasive sustainable plant habitat for beneficial birds and insects at the most local level, at home. Along with offering a wide variety of hearty native plants from local sources, Master Gardeners from surrounding counties are available for consultation at the Native Plant Sale. Native plant listings are available on the ASCM web site prior to each sale.
- Monthly e-Newsletter — ASCM publishes a monthly email newsletter to keep subscribers up-to-date on Chapter activities. An email to ASCM is all it takes to subscribe to the e-Newsletter.
ASCM volunteers lead Nature Walks, help with the Seed Sales and Native Plant Sale, assist with sanctuary maintenance, do bird counts, and help with the many other Chapter activities. Sanctuary improvement projects in particular are ideal as Eagle Scout projects. Please check the website for more details.