Our 2017 Audubon Heroes

The President’s Hoot
by Richard H. Baker, Ph.D.
April 2017

Many folks have volunteer and contributed to the success of our chapter by developing courses, leading and organizing birding field trips, writing grants for funding, maintaining our the Audubon House, initiating special events, and yes contributing money to keep projects going. At our annual meeting on March 20, 2017, we recognized the outstanding contributions individuals have made not only to our chapter but to our community. These awards highlight our activities and inspire us all to work together to improve our quality of life and make Indian River County a sustainable, environmentally, and happy place to live.

Phyllis Stockburger Award to Dr. Richard Sakai for generously supporting our Audubon House and programs for more than ten years. Only ever a visitor, living in Mali for over 25 years, he is an NIH employee assigned to the US Embassy and Mali Medical Training Institute. On his own time, he helps villages build medical health clinics and care systems.

Special Service Award to Bill Loftus– Leading our Osprey Watch program at Blue Cypress Lake, consultation on grants, organizing our field trips, recommending meeting speakers, and editing many of our written materials.

Board Member of the Year to Donna Halleran, 1st Vice Presidentfor leadership generous time and effort she put into writing grants, updating policy and purchasing procedures, helping manage the afterschool program, and organizing fundraising events such as honey tasting, open houses and gift shop.

Maggy Bowman/Conservationist of the Year to David Cox forLocal Business Alliance (memberships), Spoonbill Watch, and administering Spoonbill Watch at the two Stick Marsh Islands that are breeding sites for Spoonbill and other birds, and proposing and achieving, that they become a FWC Critical Wildlife Area (CWA), the first approved in many years.

Environmental Educator Award to Linda Urban for being the 4×4 square foot Garden Queen volunteer, making Vero Beach Elementary School garden above and beyond success, inspiring children.

Environmental Citizen to Judy Orcutt– for efforts to pass fertilizer ordinances, remove septic tanks, promoting hybrid systems, and living shorelines to save our Lagoon and benefit our community.

Conservation Journalist Award to Laurence Reisman for writing strong articles to save the Dodgertown Golf Course from 280 homes and promote changes in home owner associations selection of planting natives and flowers, that encourages environmentally sound guidelines instead of the recommendations of many Home Owner Associations requiring only certain limited plants that may not be good for wildlife and our environment.

Environmental Landscaping to Ken Gonyo for his expertise and enthusiastic leadership of volunteers installing our Audubon House butterfly pollinator and wetland gardens as a landscaping example for our community. 

President’s Award to George Glenn, Jr. for his research and writing on the advocacy side for stopping SJRWMD Bull Creek land swap & making county Water Farming projects transparent.  

Eleanor & Bud Kleckner Award to Dr. Graham Cox forbeinggenerous with his time volunteering in consultation, in leading the initiative grants in Gifford and Fellsmere, helping organize the 4×4 foot square gardens, in successfully obtaining important grants to fund our Audubon Advocates after school program. 

Special Recognition to: Michael Estabrook for installing our landscape irrigation system and shelving in the tool house.
Steve Thomas (4×4 sq. ft. school gardens) for refurbishing and expanding the gardens at Vero Beach, Rosewood and Citrus Elementary Schools and Indian River Academy.

Environmental Youth Award to Michael Stabile for his summer community service, which included air potato removal, eBird data input for decades of bird banding, and moving our Audubon library to the Audubon House.

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