from John Day
Dear Members and Friends of Skagit Audubon Society,
Adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a huge challenge from the global level on down and Skagit Audubon Society (SAS) is no exception. Thanks in large part to the wonderful support we have received from our chapter membership, community members, and cooperating organizations, however, SAS has “turned lemons into lemonade” during this time. The following are just a few examples.
Our membership and donation levels, now facilitated on our website by an online payment system set up by SAS Treasurer Neil O’Hara, are as high as they have ever been. Our excellent series of presentations at virtual monthly meetings, organized by Carla Helm, has consistently drawn large audiences. After a hiatus during some of the worst of the pandemic, SAS hikes and field trips have started up again with appropriate COVID precautions in place, under the leadership of Joan Melcher and Colleen Shannon respectively. Our Helen Engle Award-winning Conservation Chair, Tim Manns, ensures that our informed membership and the Board provide cogent, timely comments on environmental issues of local, regional, and national significance. And, whether you read it online or receive it in the mail, Mary Sinker continues to maintain her high standards for the Flyer.
Much of what we have accomplished during the pandemic would have been practically impossible without information technology such as virtual meeting software. Zoom has generally been a boon (but sometimes has felt like a bit of a curse as well). Love it or hate it, though, it’s appearing unlikely we’ll go back to having our meetings entirely in person as we did before COVID came along. At the same time, now that immunity levels have significantly increased and transmission has greatly decreased, we would like to provide the opportunity for those who are fully vaccinated and symptom-free to attend in person as well as for anyone who so desires to continue to attend virtually.
Accordingly, our September 13th general meeting, with a presentation by SAS Vice President John Farnsworth, PhD, on his extensive observations of a pair of nesting Ospreys and their young (see program announcement above for more details), will be held at 7:00 pm in a hybrid in-person/Zoom format, with the in-person component once again taking place in the large meeting room at the Padilla Bay Reserve Breazeale Interpretive Center. As noted in the announcement, we ask that all in-person attendees be fully vaccinated and not attend if they have any potential symptoms of COVID or other communicable illness.
No matter what mode you choose to participate in SAS activities, I look forward to seeing you!