The end of May marks the end of our scheduled activities for the season, and what a wonderful season it has been! Since this season officially began in July 2018, we have hosted more than 50 field trips to great birding spots in the Jacksonville area and beyond. Several hundred nature lovers joined us throughout the year, many of whom were repeat attendees - we love seeing familiar faces! AND new ones - EVERYONE is welcome to participate in any of our activites!
We also hosted nine excellent speakers at our monthly program meetings, including native gardening expert Ginny Stibolt, local artist and parks advocate Kathy Stark, avian wildlife specialist Mary Ellen Petraska from White Oak Conservation, and our very own Field Trips and Programs Chair Deborah Kainauskas, who gave an outstanding presentation on the White Birds of the Coastal South, featuring many of her own beautiful photographs!
Duval Audubon board members also presented programs about birds and conservation at local schools, libraries, and garden clubs, and shared our love of nature and the outdoors at environmental festivals throughout the year.
2018/2019 was also an amazing season for volunteering. We hosted cleanups at three different parks in the Jacksonville area, with over 50 community-minded volunteers helping to pick up trash and keep it from harming the wildlife we love. At our Crosby Sanctuary conservation property in Orange Park, we hosted monthly work days where more than 40 volunteers, many from the Ridgeview High School Earth Club, helped us to beautify and maintain this incredible nature sanctuary by installing and weeding our new native plant garden, marking and maintaining trails, and picking up trash.
Next year promises to be just as busy! We will continue our monthly Beginning Bird Walks at Fort Caroline National Memorial as well as our regular schedule of field trips and programs so we can share our love of nature and birds with all who want to learn more about the natural world around us. During the summer months, we'll be planning our activities for the upcoming season, so if you are an Audubon member and live in Clay, Duval, or Nassau counties, look for your 2019/2020 calendar in the mail at the end of the summer.