My two year term as your president is ending. It’s been challenging but deeply rewarding. The challenges were more easily met with the help of all the dedicated board members and volunteers that Skagit Audubon is lucky to have.
As I’ve learned about many interesting programs or activities of other Audubon chapters, I’ve wondered if we should take some of them on. But I’ve come to realize that not only does our chapter carry out a wide range of activities but in fact, we have more activities than most chapters our size. We have a core group of volunteers who are doing either what they are passionate about or who care enough about our chapter to take on time-consuming activities that need to be done.
The recent activities of the Education Committee stand out as a great example. Sheila Pera and Jean Ashby have given several talks to local groups such as garden groups and retirement homes. Irene Perry has been teaching a popular monthly class at an elementary school in Anacortes this school year. For many years, Education committee members and volunteers have participated in Mount Vernon High School Science Night. At our booth they bring our large tri-fold display and eye-catching props like bird skulls to capture the interest of the students. Irene also led a group of volunteers giving bird walks at the International Migratory Bird Festival at Camp Casey on Whidbey Island for the second year.
I’m pleased to tell you that most of our committee chairs will continue in their present roles. Sheila Pera will step down as Membership chair. Pam Pritzl will take on that task, while Sheila will become the sole Education Chair. Jean Ashby will step down as co-chair of Education, but will continue with education activities and be on the Board as a Representative. Libby Mills will continue as Field Trips Chair, Jackie Boss as Publications Chair, and Joan Melcher as Hikes Chair. A special thanks to Tim Manns, Conservation Chair and Immediate Past President, who was always there to help when I needed advice. Ivar Dolph, Alice Turner, and Bob Kuntz will continue as Board Representatives. I want to welcome Ron Holmes and Jane Brandt who are also joining as Board Representatives. Barbara Craner will continue as newsletter distributor and Ron Pera as Webmaster. A special thanks goes to all those who led field trips. I particularly want to thank Irene Perry, our Vice President, who has agreed to step up as our new President. Irene brings great leadership skills in addition to demonstrating an impressive ability to conduct a wide variety of educational programs. The above changes will be formalized at our Annual Membership Meeting on June 9. It has been a pleasure to work with all of you as we work together to make our beautiful area one in which birds and other wildlife continue to thrive.