Our New Big Year

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

Last month’s Hoot covered our Big Year last year.  This year is starting out to be even greater.  In addition to our third year Audubon Advocates, great speakers at our membership meetings at the North County Library in Sebastian and Vero Beach at the Community Center and River House and are even more exciting.  We are planning on an even a bigger year this year with the following two events:

1.  Indian River Birding Festival- Oct 13-15 in partnership with the Pelican Island Preservation Society.  We are holding our Indian River Birding Festival and Nature Art Show in partnership with Pelican Island Audubon Society Oct 13-15, which opens with a fund raising Gala at the Audubon House Friday Night being organized by Donna Halleran.  It will be the first official viewing of the juried Nature Art Show and the Grand Debut of artist Deanna DeRosia’s 12’x47’ mural in the Audubon House breezeway depicting 70 species of plants and animals found at the surrounding Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area, supported in part with the $1,000 NAS grant. Artist for the art show, including Paintings, sculpture, pottery, photography, pastel, mixed media, carvings, stain glass, should submit their application by October 6, 2017 to PIPS at PO Box 781903, Sebastian, FL 32978. Entry Fee: $15 per entry, maximum 2 entries.  The selected artist will be at the Gala and their work will be available for sale with 30% of the commission will be shared PIAS and PIPs.

Other Great Birding Trips and Talks by Great Birders and Speakers:
 Friday, October 13, 2017
4-6 pm Pokeman Birdwalk- Dee Simpson-Free
8-10pm Owl Prowl-David & Dee Simpson-$15
Saturday, October 14, 2017
7-11am Birding Stick Marsh-David & Dee Simpson $35
8:30-10am Birding Sebastian Inlet-Juanita Baker $20 + Park Fee
9am-5pm Juried Art Show-Free
1pm Florida’s Bats-Free
3pm Intro to Birding & Walk-Free
7:30pm Sunset Cruise to Pelican Island-$45
7:30-8:30pm Keynote Lecture-Cathy Allen-Free
Sunday, October 15, 2917
8-10am Photo tour of Wastewater Facility-$20
9am-5pm Juried Art Show-Free
11am-1pm Kayak tour of Indian River Lagoon-$30
1-3pm Cpt. Forster’s Hammock Preserve-$25
4pm -Closing Ceremony-Free
Sponsored by:
Marine Bank & Trust
Linus Cadillac Buick GMC
Hoe Improvements of vero Beach

2.  As one of our efforts in Audubon’s Plants for Birds program and to save our environment, PIAS is holding a conference on Jan 19-20, 2018, entitled “Transforming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future” to be held at the Emerson Center in Vero Beach.

 The rate of development in the Indian River Lagoon region has reached pre-recession levels, and now is the time to discuss transforming landscapes so that our residentially and commercially developed lands are part of the solution to a healthy environment, not a detriment.
The Pelican Island Audubon Society realizes the enormous undertaking required to change course. However, the health of the Indian River Lagoon makes it clear that time is not on our side.  We must ALL act now or potentially lose what has made our region so attractive to people and businesses.

Thus, Pelican Island Audubon Society is proud to present the Transforming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future Conference, scheduled for January 19 and 20, 2018, at The Emerson Center, 1590 27th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32960.  The conference starts Friday evening, January 19, 2018, and runs through 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 20, 2018. There will be a reception Friday night along with a box lunch Saturday afternoon.
The goal of the conference is to provide knowledgeable insight into the pressing need to reverse course on how communities, developments and homes in counties along the Indian River Lagoon develop their outdoor landscapes.  While Lake Okeechobee discharges and septic system pollutants have been the main focus for improving the water in our region, transforming landscapes can play just as much of a vital role in protecting water quality, preserving water quantity, and providing habitats for plants and animals.

The conference will feature keynote speaker Dr. Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home and How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants.  Speakers will also include Steve Turnipseed, author of Transformation of a Turfgrass Lawn into a Native Plant Landscape, and Dr. Zak Gezon, Conservation Program Manager for Disney.  Other speakers will touch on various topics pertinent to transforming landscapes for a sustainable future in our region. Attached is a schedule of speakers and on our website pelicanislandaudubon.org.

Our target audience for this conference is broad; it includes local governments, homeowner’s associations, developers, landscape architects, consulting engineers, concerned residents, and members like you.

If you believe that we must act now regarding this important topic, please consider being a sponsor for the conference. Sponsorship opportunities are provided below. This conference will not be inexpensive, but it will be worthwhile if we all come together to work on solutions for transforming landscapes for a sustainable future. If you are unable to sponsor, we hope that you will plan on attending or have individuals from your organization attend this important event. Admission tickets will go on sale in October at $25 per person and $35 after January 5, 2018.

List of Sponsorship opportunities*:

  • Conference Sponsor $2,000.00
  • Emerson Center Site Sponsor $1,500.00
  • Key Note Speaker: Dr. Douglas Tallamy Sponsor $1,500.00
  • Advertising Sponsor $1,000.00
  • Programs/printing Sponsor $1,000.00
  • Friday evening reception Sponsor $1,000.00
  • Saturday Lunch Sponsor $1,000.00
  • Speakers Sponsor $500 (Dr. Edie Widder Sponsor, Steve Turnipseed, Tod Winston, Dr. Juanita N. Baker, Zak Gezon, Robin Pelensky, Nickie Munroe & Jacob Ensor)
  • Osprey Sponsor $250.00**

*The listed values do not necessarily correspond to the exact cost for the sponsorship, and speakers are subject to change. Sponsorships at $1,000.00 or more will receive six (6) complimentary tickets to the conference, $500.00 will receive four (4) complimentary tickets, $250 will receive two (2) complimentary tickets. **Osprey Sponsorships are open to as many individuals and businesses that would like to contribute at that level.

If you are interested in sponsoring, please call 772-567-3520 or email at piaudubon@yahoo.com

Working together for our environment.

Conference Schedule
Transforming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future
The Emerson Center, Vero Beach, FL

Jan 19, 2018  
5:30 pm Registration $25 per person, $35 after January 5, 2018

6:00-8:30 pm Dr. Douglas Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home and How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE followed by a reception with wine and beer. 

January 20, 2018

8:00- 9:00 am Registration

9:00-9:45 am Dr. Edie Widder- Health of the Indian River Lagoon, CEO & Senior Scientist, Ocean Research & Conservation Association, Ft. Pierce, FL

9:45 – 10:30 am Steve Turnipseed1, Transformation of a Turfgrass Lawn into a Native Plant Landscape, President of the Villages Chapter of the Native Plant Society, The Villages, FL

10:30-10:45 am Break

10:45 -11:30 am Tod Winston, Plant It and They Will Come, Program Manager, Plants for Birds, National Audubon Society
11:30:12:00 pm Dr. Juanita N. Baker, Why should we attract the birds? What habitats do they need in our yards? Pelican Island Audubon Society, Professor Emeritus, Florida Institute of Technology

12:00-12:45 pm Box Lunch

12:45- 1:30 pm Dr. Zak Gezon PhD, Pollinators in a changing climate, Conservation Program Manager, Walt Disney Company

1:30 -2:15 pm Robin Pelensky, Lagoon Gardens to save the Lagoon, Landscape Architect, Surlaterre Landscape Architecture

2:15-3:00 pm Nickie Munroe, What is Florida Friendly Landscaping? Indian River County Environmental Horticulture Agent

3:00-3:15 pm Break

3:15 – 4:30 Jacob E. Ensor, Changing HOA Rules to comply with State Statures, Ross Earle Bonan & Ensor, P.A.

4:30-5:00 pm Summary and what can we do to improve the lagoon and our plants and animals?

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