By Irene Perry
Annual Report Highlights
At the end of each calendar year our chapter submits an annual report to National Audubon. This is an opportunity to reflect on our goals and accomplishments. Our chapter continues to reach our goals and accomplish more each year with the support of our membership.
This year our chapter took on a special project. The success of the Purple Martin Project is a chapter highlight for 2016. Volunteers built and installed 56 new nesting boxes. We now monitor 76 boxes in four different locations. Nearly all new boxes were used during the nesting season. This project was accomplished with the donation of supplies, talent and time. We had members with carpentry skills and tools volunteer to build the boxes. A local hardware supplier donated materials at cost along with many members donating supplies. Volunteers came out to install posts and the boxes on existing pilings. This project also included those dedicated to citizen science, monitoring Purple Martin activity at each site. There is more to do and fine-tune as this project continues into 2017.
Another highlight of 2016 is our education programs and outreach activities. We continue to grow and reach more people throughout our communities. We have taken programs to schools, after school programs, community clubs, community organizations, and local parks. Our education volunteers reached 1,922 people participating in 33 programs. Of those programs 1,169 participants were children. We continue to receive requests for our education and outreach activities. Consider volunteering as our education committee develops plans for 2017. Please contact Sheila Pera for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The last highlight to mention is our strong membership. We have 226 member families. There are members who attend just programs, field trips or hikes. And some members who participate in all three activities. We have members who are strongly interested and support our conservation efforts. Most of all, we welcome anyone who shares our mission to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity. On a recent field trip, a birder from Edmonds said, “I heard Skagit Audubon was friendly and welcoming. You really are doing a good job.”
Finally, I would like to thank you for your continued support in our growing chapter. We had 91 volunteers contribute 4,196 hours in all chapter activities including conservation, education, publications, programs, citizen science, hospitality, and board meetings. Also included are those who organize field trips and hikes. This data is collected annually by yet another dedicated volunteer, Phil Wright, who is a past President and currently our Finance Committee chair.
As you consider your New Year's resolutions and plans for 2017, include Skagit Audubon. Plan to attend programs, field trips, and hikes. Consider volunteering for a board position or as a committee member helping with publications, conservation, or field trips. Resolve to assist in our education outreach efforts. Better yet, extend a welcoming invitation to a neighbor or friend to join us. Together we can make a difference in the New Year connecting people to nature.