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president’s Message

Presidents Message September 2019

Hello Everyone, I hope you all had a great summer. Welcome to another season of birding with the Northern Neck Audubon Society. We’ve managed to slog through the tough time of dealing with Hickory Hollow and all it entailed. We lost some members due to the friction it caused, but I think we will come back from those losses, and with the new board members we’ve gained, we will have a fresh start. We welcome Ellen Crist as our new Treasurer, Buz Cox as a new Director, and we re-welcome some long -time members who have agreed to help out on the Board: Paula Boundy, Beth Kendrick and Maggie Gerdts. A very grateful & heart-felt thank you to all of you. We have already had one board meeting and everyone is excited about the new year. We will kick it off with our annual picnic at Belle Isle State Park on September 9th at 5 pm. It’s free, and everyone is welcome. You don’t have to be a member to join us.

Joe has planned some interesting and juicy field trips including Tangier Island, Afton Mountain for the Rockfish Gap hawkwatch; bird walks to some new tracts of the Rappahannock River Wildlife Refuge, and of course we’ll hit an old stand by here and there like Hughlett Point & Dameron Marsh.

As an organization, we would like to get back to our basics: bird walks, programs, & local outreach. We understand that these are the things most of you enjoy. We will be shaking things up a bit also, for instance an evening meeting in November to allow working folks and students the chance to attend. This might bring in some younger members, or at least get some young folks interested in the magic of birds.

During the past couple of years, unfortunately, a lot of time and effort has gone to property management. In the ‘70’s and ‘80’s the organization took on easements and property for conservation reasons. Because of this, lately, we have been neglecting our basics. In order to get back to those basics, we will be considering the transfer of easements to another entity. This may take a few dollars, and a couple of years, but in the end, it will be a more responsible approach to conservation, since we are lacking manpower to take care of the responsibilities.

The last comment I want to make is about memberships. (This is not a pity-part story….) just a request to please bear with me as I’ve been the only person to take care of membership and treasurer duties for the summer. The membership mailing went out, then our membership chair and treasurer resigned. I was left to pick up mail not knowing the box hadn’t been checked for a month. (p.s. I live in Montross, so it’s a bit of a haul to the Kilmarnock PO and the bank.) I tried like crazy to get it all done in a timely manner. I know people are curious when checks don’t clear. Anyway, the memberships are still trickling in, and we’re still working to streamline the mail, membership information and treasurer issues. Thanks for your patience.

Again, I hope to see you all at the picnic on Monday. Belle Isle State Park, entrance fee is waived, anyone can join us, bring something to eat, even if it’s just a bag o’ chips and some salsa!!!


Melissa Gross, President