By Jeff Osmundson
Greetings friends and members of Skagit Audubon:
Well, here we are in January 2022 and for some reason it doesn’t seem like a fresh start to a new year. Jack Frost was nipping at our noses and seems to have left a few scars. The COVID thing will not go away easily, and we are still taking extraordinary precautions and having meetings by Zoom. Even as the days are starting to slowly get a little longer, progress seems slow. As we, the Board, are working on the Annual Report to Audubon, let’s pull a few of the accomplishments out of the paperwork and see if we can lighten the mood.
- This year your Skagit Audubon contacted over 718 people and 41 children and benefitted from the generosity of 78 volunteers who put in over 3600 hours!
- Pam Pritzl, our Membership Chair, has announced that she recently logged our 400th active Skagit Audubon Membership. A new high.
- Mary Sinker, our newsletter editor, reports that some of our Flyer articles are being reprinted by local media publications. Jeff Sinker has recently had an article about Harlequin ducks reprinted.
- You, the membership, and our Big Sit Coordinator, Denny Quirk, safely conducted the Big Sit and raised over $952 for scholarships. Total donations for scholarships this year have been $1,235.
- And, speaking of scholarships, we awarded two scholarships to very worthy recipients attending Skagit Valley College and pursuing conservation-related careers.
- Joan Melcher heads up the hiking group. They have been having about 15 people a week show up for the always popular hikes.
- Youth Education chair, Kim Nelson, continues to provide basic birding kits to local libraries so the public, families, adults, and children can check out and try binoculars and field guides.
- Adult Education Chair Sheila Pera presented 11 Kiosk programs at Cama Beach State Park for 190 adults and 250 children.
- Program Chair, Carla Helm, continues to find wonderful speakers that are interesting and informative. The Zoom Team keeps those presentations coming at us almost seamlessly.
- Skagit Audubon also supported Skagit Land Trust in successful campaigns to buy and protect important habitat on Samish Flats and at the March Point heronry
- Treasurer Neil O’Hara and Finance Chair Lisa Hopkins have noted that this has been our best fundraising year – EVER! These important contributions help fund our education programs, our outreach and other important conservation work.
What you see above is just a measure of what your dues and donations support. All of our Board members and everyone who helps us is a volunteer. It keeps your dollar going just that much further!
And, finally, Tim Manns made us all proud by accepting the Helen Engle Award from Audubon Washington as the Conservationist of the year for 2020. This was a well-deserved award to an incredible volunteer that heads our Conservation Committee.
Field trips are starting again, we hope to see you with your binoculars out in the field very soon.
Until then….. Thanks, and happy birding. Be safe, wear your mask, get fully vaccinated.