Bird Lovers, Music Lovers, Conservation Groups Donate $27,000+ to Nashville Symphony

Sep 14, 2020

Hundreds of purple martins flying over downtown Nashville at dusk.
150,000+ purple martins were roosting around the Nashville Symphony, creating an expensive mess. Bird lovers and music lovers came together and donated thousands, that the Federation helped match, so the symphony could afford to let them stay.

Tennessee Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee Matched $5,000

Thanks to your generosity, the Nashville Symphony will receive a total of $27,612 to cover the cost of clean-up from more than 150,000 purple martins that gathered for weeks in preparation for migration. $22,612 came from the public and an additional $5,000 was matched by Tennessee Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee.

The birds could have been driven away cheaply, but that would have greatly disrupted their migration. With these funds, the symphony could afford to let them stay.

“We are profoundly thankful to Tennessee Wildlife Federation, as well as to The Nature Conservancy and other conservation groups, for stepping in and helping raise funds to help us take care of the Schermerhorn,” said Alan D. Valentine, president and CEO of the Nashville Symphony. “Our building stands today because of the outpouring of community support we have received over the years, and we are once again awed by the community’s response in the face of so many challenges we are all facing at the moment. We cannot wait to welcome the public back inside our building as soon as it is possible to do so.”

The campaign was launched by Tennessee Wildlife Federation.

“The community came together in an amazing way,” said Kendall McCarter, chief development officer for Tennessee Wildlife Federation. “Not only did individuals give, but fellow nonprofits stepped up to spread the word with us–all to raise money for another organization. Because of this collaboration, a meaningful percentage of the global purple martin population had an uninterrupted migration.”

Each year, the global population of purple martins gather at just 350 roosting sites to prepare for their winter migration to South America.

If you missed the roost this year, check out the videos below.

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