Bird-Friendly Communities

Past and Ongoing Projects

Photo: Luke Franke

Rowe Sanctuary serves as a resource for helping communities to become more friendly for wildlife like birds and pollinators. We strive to provide events and opportunities to engage those of diverse backgrounds and abilities with Audubon's conservation mission. Click on projects below to learn more about our work. 

Native Plant Playscapes

In 2020, Rowe Sanctuary partnered with Stick Creek Kids, a non-profit and child development center in Wood River, Nebraska, to dream up a natural playscape. Read more about the project here. This project sparked 2 additional projects at elementary schools in Kearney, NE. If you are interested in creating a landscape that birds and kids will love, visit our Wildlife Friendly Playground Design webpage

Native Plant Garden Consultation

Rowe provides free consultation and resources regarding Audubon's Plants for Birds program and installing native plants within Nebraska communities.

If you've got an idea for a community project or would like to install native plants at your home, Rowe native plant experts are happy to help! 

Reach out to or 308-468-5282 for more information. 

 Bird-Friendly Communities Events

Bird-Friendly Communities events take place during the spring, summer, and fall. Check our events page to stay updated on all upcoming events.

Volunteer at a Bird-Friendly Communities Event to help Rowe Sanctuary spread the word. No experience necessary! Click here to learn more about volunteering.

Early days of the KOLA restoration.

Kearney Outdoor Learning Area (KOLA)

The Kearney Outdoor Learning Area was a joint project between Kearney Public Schools and Rowe Sanctuary to create an 18 acre outdoor classroom along Turkey Creek at the site of the newly constructed Kearney High School. Project planning began in 2016 and restoration was complete by 2018.Among the restoration activities underwent at the site are 5 acres of tree thinning to create a small cottonwood savannah, 1800 linear feet of slough excavation to create ephemeral wetlands, and the seeding of 250+ local ecotype native plant species. Kearney High School students utilize the site for a wide variety of curriculum including Biology, Math, Art, and English classes. The site is also accessible for other schools to use for their own curriculum. Funding for this project was provided by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, US Environmental Protection Agency, and project partners Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Find more information about our involvement with KOLA by clicking here! To visit KOLA's website, click here.

How you can help, right now