Annual Report 2019-2020

We’re proud of all we accomplished as an all-volunteer Audubon chapter.

Started new education programs with a Native Plants and Birds class series taught by Cindy Young and Jim Evans. Sylvia Soholt is bringing new energy and ideas to her job as Education Chair. More to come!

Created a bird habitat garden behind the Heritage Museum. Adria Magrath, Dana Schuerholz, Jim Evans, and many volunteers–including kids like those pictured below–worked through the January rains! Stop by to check it out. It’s part of the upcoming Wild Wonder exhibit curated by Vashon Nature Center and the Museum.

The kids worked hard as the habitat garden took shape.

Published our fifth Birds of Vashon-Maury Island calendar, which the Beachcomber dubbed “an Island holiday tradition.” The 2020 calendar release was accompanied by a popular video featuring Islanders’ photos of Vashon birds, their songs, and where they can be found. Watch the video »

Participated in several citizen science projects: the Christmas Bird Count, Climate Watch, and the Pigeon Guillemot survey led by Vashon Nature Center in partnership with Whidbey Audubon.

Created the Christensen Pond sign honoring Emma Amiad. Check out the new kiosk! Ann Spiers wrote the text and Sarah Driggs designed the sign. It’s now a model for other Vashon conservation property signs.

Gave presentations about birds at the Senior Center, the Vashon Library (with a hands-on bird house building class for kids), and the PEO women’s group.

Participated again in environmental organizations’ Lobby Day, connecting with legislators about the need for climate action now!

Advocated for bird conservation by submitting comments on the proposed Vashon aquaculture project, Navy flights over Olympic National Park, and protection of Marbled Murrelets.

Awarded a Vashon High School scholarship to Djuna Schuerholz-Wright. Watch for more about Djuna in the next issue of Island Wings.

Continued our popular and informative second-Saturday birding field trips, although COVID-19 forced the cancellation of recent outings. Join trip leaders Ezra and Harsi Parker when the bird walks resume.

Kept our members informed by publishing Island Wings throughout the year and providing valuable information about birds on our website. Our Facebook page is increasingly active thanks to Cheryl Richmond’s lively posts!

Continued one of our hallmarks—programs that are “free and open to all.” This year’s community programs with Vashon speakers featured the Vashon salmon watcher stream data and American Dipper sightings, the Pigeon Guillemot survey, and the Christmas Bird Count.

Coming up

We now have a binocular loan program for Vashon Audubon members! Thirty pairs were purchased in memory of John Frairs and Dana Hofman, two long-time Audubon volunteers. Your membership dues contributed to their acquisition. Find out how to borrow binoculars »

We hope to schedule classes by Ed Swan this fall. Ed’s curriculum, designed to build the skills of intermediate birders, will help ensure Vashon’s bird expertise remains strong. We plan to subsidize the registration fee.

The Vashon Audubon bird mural in the Heron Meadow will take flight this summer. It will feature birds of the Judd Creek watershed that are threatened by the changing climate. Stop by in the coming months to watch artist Britt Freda paint. Learn more about the mural and ways you can contribute » We appreciate our partnership with the Vashon Nature Center and Vashon Center for the Arts.

Presentations by Jim Diers, George Divoky, Paul Bannick among others are being scheduled. Many thanks to the Vashon Theatre and Vashon Land Trust for providing space for our free community programs.
Watch for a new “Bird of the Month” feature in the Beachcomber, as well as a bird haiku collection showcasing Vashon poets and local art.

Vashon Audubon by the numbers

Membership:
Households 188
Individual members 299
Your membership and volunteer commitment makes us strong. Thank you!

Finances: April, 2019-April, 2020:
Income $9,589
Expenses $8,790
Savings $18,086*

This coming year we’ve carefully targeted new investments in bird and native habitat education for Islanders.

See the list of current board members and volunteers with key roles »

Top photo: Common Ravens, Jim Diers

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