This summer, folks from across the region flew to Greensboro for the 2021 Black Belt Birding Festival – a sold-out event that has organizers with Alabama Audubon already working to expand the festival in 2022.
Indeed, the bigger event planned for next year follows what turned out to be an immensely successful 2021 festival for local businesses, artists and makers who enjoyed a unique opportunity to showcase their products, creations and community to a new audience.
“The Black Belt Birding Festival brought together community members and visitors from in and around the state, demonstrating the many birding opportunities Alabama’s historic Black Belt region has to offer, and bringing in a large weekend of sales for our Greensboro business community,” said Meg Ford, Black Belt coordinator for Alabama Audubon, the event host.
“When birders gather together, we can truly make a positive difference for birds and the people who love them – and we hope to make an even larger impact with a full weekend of Black Belt birding and an expansion of offerings for next year’s festival,” Ford said.
The 2022 Black Belt Birding Festival is slated for July 29-31, with a second day added to accommodate more birders and more activities. Details about the expanded festival will be coming soon, Ford said.
While the field trips to the diverse bird habitats that the Black Belt offers sold out quickly during the 2021 festival, the free in-town events attracted birders and nonbirders alike.
The festival is part of Alabama Audubon’s Black Belt Birding Initiative, designed to highlight the benefits of bird-based ecotourism for the Black Belt region. The Alabama Power Foundation was among the supporters of this year’s festival.
Among the special guests this year was Christian Cooper, a Black birder and member of the board of directors of NYC Audubon in New York. Cooper is a key organizer of National Black Birders Week, which celebrates Black nature enthusiasts but also points out the dangers they can face when enjoying the outdoors.
This year’s Black Belt Birding Festival, which took place in August, was Alabama Audubon’s first major event in more than a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, is now back with a full slate of scheduled activities.
Learn more about Alabama Audubon here.
(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)