PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE 2017/2018          

September 30, 2018

Dear Fellow Audubon Members,

Once a year we reflect on what we have accomplished during the last 12 months and consider how our time will be best spent in the year ahead. The fact that this year we will celebrate our 10th Annual Alligator Lake Spring Festival gives me pause. How can we make this year really special?

This past April we broke out record with over 1500 people attending the Alligator Lake Spring Festival. Along with our vendors, food, music, educational activities, etc. there were a number of highlights. Kitty Carroll WOWED THE CROWD with the Birds of the Gauntlet show featuring owls, hawks and falcons. We gave away over 350 native plants and Sunrise Wildlife Rehabilitation made a huge splash with the friendliest possum you would ever want to meet.

Our 10th Festival will be a milestone and we invite you to help is make it the best yet. How you ask? Join on the planning committee, help us find some new nature oriented vendors, take photos and enter our 3rd Photography contest, make a donation so that we can expand our Native Plants for Birds giveaway or just help us brainstorm some new ideas.

One of the wonderful things about birds is that no matter where you begin there is always more to learn. And learning about birds together is one of the “funnest” things we do. Whether you were part of the SOLD OUT beginning birding class held this spring in Ft. White, attended one of our extremely popular field trips or got serious and stepped up to help with a Christmas Bird Count or one of the special Surveys you know what I mean. They best way to learn about birds is to spend time with others that know about birds, yes, we are the bird people. Check out our schedule and plan to join our next walk or activity.

We continue to build partnerships with other organizations and to raise our profile as stakeholders with local governments and agencies. We have spoken to city councils, county boards and the Suwannee River Water Management district. We have participated in Land Management Plan reviews for Parks and Recreation and the Water Management District and participated in the Audubon FL NE Regional Conservation Committee. It is rewarding to see that when it comes to a question about birds and their habitats, we are known as the people to call!

THIS YEAR IT IS TIME to think about creating our legacy as an organization, your legacy as you join and contribute to our collective vision. What will that be? We will be inviting several qualified individuals to join our Board of Directors. If you are willing to be considered for a nomination speak up. You can make a difference.

You know how to find our website www.fourriversaudubon.org. Thanks to Georgia Shemitz for keeping it lovely, simple and up to date. Thanks to John Middleton for keeping our Facebook page dynamic (I am twisting his arm to post more fabulous bird photos – good idea?). These two talented individuals give us a presence in the world of social media and the most effective way to spread the word. Enjoy visiting both of these platforms. If you prefer to have reminders come straight to you, consider joining our e-mail distribution list. Our messaging is short, sweet, and easy to sign up for, just send a quick e-mail request to jsulek@audubon.org.

Finally, thank you once again to the handful of dedicated leaders that serve as your board. We are like to Carolina Wren in our logo, small, friendly, energetic, active, opportunistic and one of the biggest voices in the forest. You can be proud to be a member of this organization.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, THANK YOU for your support!

Jacqui Sulek
President - Four Rivers Audubon
(386) 407 4185
jsulek@audubon.org www.fourriversaudubon.orghttps://www.facebook.com/FourRiversAudubon/