On behalf of Skagit Audubon, I was honored to receive Skagit Land Trust’s 2014 Development Award at their Annual Members’ Meeting in Mount Vernon on March 28. The award was given to our chapter in recognition of many years of financial and volunteer support.
Most recently, we made a contribution that helped the Land Trust apply for a grant to purchase the Bell Property which is an important 16-acre addition to their Barney Lake Conservation Area east of Mount Vernon. The Trust was successful because with our contribution it could demonstrate support from local organizations.
Skagit Land Trust’s work corresponds nicely with Audubon’s mission of conserving and restoring natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats. Many of our members also volunteer for Skagit Land Trust by serving as board members, land stewards and event volunteers.
Those of you who are new to Skagit Audubon may not know that our leaders founded the Skagit Land Trust in 1992 when they were offered a gift of land that they knew Skagit Audubon was unable to receive. One of the founders was Keith Wiggers. Many of you know Keith and Jan as outstanding field trip leaders.
The second annual Regional Meeting of Audubon Washington was again held at Padilla Bay in late March. In addition to Skagit Audubon this group includes North Cascades, Whidbey, San Juan Islands and Pilchuck Audubon chapters, and several members of our board attended. I particularly enjoyed hearing about the educational activities of each chapter. There were also chapter reports on conservation issues and we discussed prospects for collaboration around points of common interest and involvement.
Gail Gatton, Executive Director of Audubon Washington, spoke about a proposed strategy being developed for the National Audubon Society’s Bird Friendly Communities campaign. Also in attendance was Art Wang, current Vice President of Tacoma Audubon, who will represent Alaska, Washington and Oregon when he becomes a board member of the National Audubon Society in 2015. He has an impressive background, including 14 years as an elected State Representative and as a Judge on the Washington Court of Appeals.
As you can see, it’s a pleasure to associate with such impressive and like-minded individuals and organizations.