Every December New Morning Market donates 10% of all profits to Audubon Center Bent of the River in Southbury. “We formed a relationship with Audubon many years ago,” said John Pittari, owner of New Morning. He views the store’s longstanding relationship with Audubon as intrinsic to New Morning’s mission. “We can’t have sustainable and healthy foods without taking care of our natural environment.”
Bent of the River’s 700-acre sanctuary along East Flat Hill Road is recognized as an Important Bird Area and is safeguarded as nesting sites for birds of the Atlantic flyway region. The sanctuary doubles as a nature center, with 15-miles of hiking trails and a wide-range of programs dedicated to learners of all ages.
Since New Morning’s inaugural “December Shopping is for the Birds” event in December 2016, the store has donated $10,000 in support of Bent of the River’s mission to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.
December, historically, is also for counting birds. For over a century, the National Audubon Society has invited volunteers across the U.S. to participate in a winter bird census. During the Christmas Bird Count, citizen scientists form groups to tally birds over a 24-hour period between December 14 and January 5. More information regarding participation in the annual Christmas Bird Count is available through Bent of the River.
Even if you’re not counting birds, you can still help support the Audubon’s mission this December. This month we will also feature the work of local bird photographer Al Erickson in the café. 20% of the sales from his framed images will be donated to Bent of the River. When you’re shopping, remember that you’re benefiting the birds. As John said, “What’s good for the birds is good for us.”