NEW YORK — “Growing the next generation of leaders and reimagining what’s possible in communities are the two big ideas at the heart of Maggie Walker’s investment in Audubon’s network. And everyone who’s worked with her knows that when Maggie Walker decides to invest in your work, what you get is expansive vision and transformational change,” said David Yarnold (@david_yarnold) Audubon’s president and CEO, announcing news that Seattle-based philanthropist and National Audubon Society Board Chair Maggie Walker has made a $5 million gift to support the organization’s revitalized vision for its network of community-based centers nationwide.
National Audubon Society’s 41 centers welcome one million people each year. Audubon centers serve many of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, from Los Angeles to Dallas to Philadelphia, and they connect people to many of America’s most treasured ecosystems, from the Everglades to the Platte River to San Francisco Bay. It is the largest nonprofit network of nature conservation and education centers in the United States.
“Audubon centers have enormous potential to create opportunity for young people and develop a new, diverse generation of conservation leaders,” said Walker. “We want to solve real environmental and social problems in communities and connect people to the joy that birds and nature bring. All of this work requires deep community involvement—that means doing with, not to—and a clear focus on cultivating talent and learning from new perspectives.”
Walker’s investment will enable Audubon to develop new programs, approaches, and activities across its network of centers focused in three areas:
- Youth leadership development, and
- Community engagement.
$1 million of Walker’s commitment will be used as a matching fund to help stimulate local fundraising efforts at individual Audubon centers. “It’s all about the leverage,” Walker says.
Walker has a track record of visionary change. Her philanthropic accomplishments include the following:
- She led fundraising for the University of Washington College of Arts and Sciences, helping to raise more than $280 million;
- She helped created two dynamic urban spaces in Seattle: Olympic Sculpture Park and Lake Union Park/Museum of History & Industry;
- She drove transformation of visitation and programming at the Seattle Art Museum, where she served as president of the board; and
- She is a leader in the ongoing transformation of the Seattle waterfront.
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more how to help at www.audubon.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.
Contact: Nicolas Gonzalez, firstname.lastname@example.org, (310-897-9836).