president’s Message

Presidents Message March 2019

As I sit here looking out at the precipitation leaking out of the slate gray sky, I wonder if we will get to have a dry bird walk any time soon. Sleet, drizzle, snow, shizzle, rain….I think we’ve seen it all, and right now I’m watching the gamut. It’s been a rough year for our scheduled walks, and our next one at George Washington’s Birth Place may be no exception, as rain is forecast...again. Despite that, it really is a great place to find many species from winter waterfowl to songbirds. It may be a good chance to practice birding from a car. By the time this newsletter is published, though, the walk will be in the past.

This is actually my plug to convince some of you to join the Board of Directors. Sorry, it is that time of year, and we are in need of participants. Like many of you, I joined NNAS to learn more about birds. The ways we do this are through our walks and programs. In order to make those particular wheels turn, other cogs in the system need to connect. You could think of the cogs and wheels as people -people with different talents to help run the NNAS. Every year we elect 3 new directors for the board. As it stands right now, we need 4, as we had another unexpected resignation.

So that you can make an informed decision, I’m going to take the chance and tell you what being a Director is about.

In summary:

  • Director Tasks – go to board meetings once a month and participate in them

  • Read, print out and bring agenda to meeting - participate

  • Take notes at the meetings - participate

  • Head a committee - participate

  • Read emails that are sent to board – participate

As you can see, the operative word is “participate”. It’s not necessary to do a lot of talking, but engagement in what’s going on is important. It IS involved, but it isn’t hard. Unfortunately, it’s not just about birds. I wish it were, but it isn’t. At meetings, which are held on Mondays before chapter meetings, we discuss the business of the chapter; finances, membership, programs and walks that are coming up, grant requests, education and outreach opportunities, and issues that may be of interest to other members.

As a Director, one needs to have at least a tiny bit of interest and desire to help the chapter move forward and stay in line as a 501(c)(3). To do this, it’s good to have an idea of what the chapter documents say. The By-Laws and Incorporation documents don’t need to be memorized, but it’s a good idea to read through them once, along with the Foundation by-laws. Then, later they can be referenced, if necessary. In addition, it’s nice to know how ‘Roberts Rules of Order’ works, but if you don’t, there are 2 current board members right now who keep me straight, because I can’t remember those rules to save my life.

NNAS differs from other Audubon chapters, in that we own property, we manage conservation easements, and we have to keep track of the Foundation. If you have ever been interested in learning more about conservation easements, here’s your chance. The NNAS is a member of the Land Trust Alliance, a land conservation organization, that offers training in various aspects of land conservancy. There is the Advocacy Committee that I was hoping would become more active in environmental issues that affect birds and wildlife. So far, we haven’t been able to ‘staff’ it, other than an occasional notification on the NNAS list serve.

The Nominating Committee is working on finding people who are interested in helping out on the Board. The Committee consists of Nancy Garvey (nangarvey@hotmail.com), Sandy Dodge (LDODGE2@msn.com), and myself (melissagross@outlook.com). Please feel free to email us with any questions. We would be more than happy to answer any questions.

Time to go look for winter birds before they head home!

Melissa Gross (president)