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Board Notes

A report from the Eastside Audubon president

By Jan McGruder

June is here and it’s hard to believe I’ve been at the helm for almost six months. I’ve enjoyed digging in and working with such a great group of people who make up the Board.

The Year's Beginning

In January the Board attended its semi-annual retreat, which is always a full day of planning and goal setting for the next year. We reviewed our accomplishments over the past year, and identified recruiting volunteers and growing membership as our two greatest areas of concentration for this year. We talked about several methods of meeting those needs, and how we’ll proceed in 2015.

We also discussed our participation in two of National Audubon’s programs: the Flyway Strategy and the Shaping a Healthy Climate and Clean Energy Future campaign - both issues on which the Conservation Committee has been working. We committed to focus on our Bird Friendly Communities program and will work to make that more prominent in the Chapter. We’re currently discussing the possibility of hiring a program coordinator to grow this campaign for the Chapter.

Quarterly Printed Newsletter

The Board voted to publish a quarterly printed newsletter, which is well on its way to becoming a reality. Member Cate Forsyth has volunteered to head up that committee and shepherd each issue through to printing. We’ll be looking for writers, articles and items of interest to fill each issue.

Outreach to the Community

To broaden our message, we committed to participate in several outreach opportunities this year. These include Sammamish Farmer’s Market on two Wednesday evenings; Sustainamania in Bothell (June 6), International Migratory Bird Day in Kirkland (June 13), Juanita Beach Park Celebration in Kirkland (August 30), Swifts Night Out in Monroe (September 12), Dennyfest in Kirkland (September 13), Heritage Festival in Duvall (September 26), and Salmon Days in Issaquah (October 3-4). It’s a full schedule and we’ll be depending on volunteers (you) to help us at these events.

Program Night Plans

In February, Antonio Montañana visited the Board to talk about Program Night ideas. He’s doing a great job of bringing interesting and educational programs to us each month, but is always looking for more ideas. If you see a program or hear of a topic which interests you, email the information to Antonio. The Chapter also purchased a new projector for Program Nights. Our old one was outdated and presenters weren’t able to connect their computers. The new one is lighter, brighter, and more user friendly.

Conservation Issues

The Conservation Committee is closely tracking two projects.  The first is the Eastlink Light Rail which will border Mercer Slough Park. Two initial plans were for the light rail to cut through the park, which we were able to avert. The second, the Willowmoor project in Marymoor Park, is a King County effort to improve Lake Sammamish drainage issues during the winter months.

In March, with the guidance and expertise of member Nancy Hubley, the Board voted to divest our funds from carbon-based energy companies and, over the next two years, move our money into greener investments. We want to walk the talk when it comes to climate change and this is one way we can have an effect.

I hope to see you out on a bird walk or at an event in which EAS is participating. Happy birding!

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The mission of Eastside Audubon is to protect, preserve and enhance natural ecosystems and our communities for the benefit of birds, other wildlife and people.