PCF “Feathers a New Nest” for Pasadena Audubon Society

A laughing woman sits at a check-in table to the far left of the photo. Behind her are two two-story buildings with a tall vertical sign on a green lawn that reads “Have you seen this bird?” and shows a photo of a bird in a tree. The Western Justice Center is the new permanent home for Pasadena Audubon Society.

For the first time in its history, Pasadena Audubon Society (PAS) has a permanent office space, and a 2023 Capital Grant from Pasadena Community Foundation has helped the organization “feather their nest” by providing the funding for new furniture.

Located inside the Western Justice Center (WJC), the new office also provides the use of larger, shared meeting rooms and a backyard with a well-placed, towering Coast Live Oak tree – a magnet for birds. The office will serve as PAS’s headquarters with space for two full-time staff; just outside, a hallway nook has been converted into a lending library of birding books for members and the public.

Two adults sit relaxed and comfortably in an office with three chairs, a desk, and tall shelving. They are smiling and looking at the camera. Two windows show that it is daylight outside.
Pasadena Audubon Society past/present board members Ira Blitz and Emily Allen enjoy the new office at the Western Justice Center during the October Open House. A PCF 2023 Capital Grant funded the purchase of the furnishings.

Exciting Momentum in conservation & education

The new space comes at a time of momentum for PAS, which has incorporated even more of a conservation and scientific lens into its longtime focus on a shared love of birds. PAS has worked on projects with the City of Pasadena to plant native trees along our streets and to support the city in its commitment to become 100% carbon-free energy by 2030. And it was instrumental in the headline-making debut this year of the Bear Divide Tracking Station in the Angeles National Forest. Here, on any given day during spring migration, it is possible to see thousands, even tens of thousands, of birds stream past. You can imagine the keen interest this has generated in the research world.

Youth education has also become central to PAS’s mission. The Young Birders Club offers numerous field trips and classes, while the organization’s Washington Elementary Native Habitat Garden, which opened in 2019, serves as a vibrant outdoor classroom for PUSD students by featuring myriad California native plants that attract birds and pollinators. Thanks to the efforts of PAS, young students are becoming environmental stewards right here in our city’s backyard.

A man holding binoculars to his eyes faces the right side of the photo. Around him are schoolchildren, many of whom are also using scopes and binoculars to search for birds. They are outdoors under a tree in a park-like setting.
Local youth try their hand at spotting a feathered friend during a Young Birders Club outing.

Saying Goodbye to Lois Brunet

For the last four years, PAS’s growth has taken place under the leadership of Lois Brunet, who announced this fall that she will retire from her position at the end of 2023. “In all our programming, we share our love of birds and help our community appreciate the vital importance of conservation. My time with PAS has shown me that the organization offers all of us tools that provide hope in these uncertain times – that is pretty unique!” PCF extends warm wishes to Lois in her retirement.

Two women stand outdoors next to a large tree trunk. They are smiling and facing the camera, they have their arms around each other.
PCF Program Manager Allie Carreon stands with Pasadena Audubon Society Executive Director Lois Burnet under the magnificent Coast Live Oak tree in PAS’s new backyard.