Farewell to Departing Board Members

This month we bid a fond and grateful farewell to two board members whose lives are now taking them in other directions. We appreciate their service to our chapter, and their work to help us achieve our mission to connect people with nature.

Carolyn WavingCarolyn Antman (right) has been a member of Duval Audubon Society since early 2009 and joined our Board of Directors later that year. After attending a Chapter Leadership workshop at Audubon’s Hog Island Camp in Maine in August of 2011, Carolyn became our Education Director and presented educational outreach talks for schools and scout groups for the next two years.

She took on the role of President from 2013-2015 and during her term was instrumental in many improvements to our Crosby Sanctuary conservation property in Orange Park, including the construction of footbridges over the ravines on the swamp trail, installing an informational kiosk at the entrance area, and adding fencing and native plantings to enhance security and curb appeal. She also worked hard to champion the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment, which was approved by voters in November of 2014 and sets aside a portion of state revenues for the Land Acquisition Trust Fund and a variety of environmental programs and initiatives.

Carolyn served as Vice President in 2016 and 2017, and during that time was selected to serve as the Chapters Representative from NE Florida on the Audubon Florida Board. This involved leading Audubon Florida’s NE Florida Regional Conservation Committee, which sets conservation goals for Audubon chapters in our area. She served in this role until January of last year. In 2018 she became our Conservation Director for Duval County, a position she has held to the present day. In that capacity, she has fostered relationships with various local and regional environmental and conservation organizations like the Riverfront Parks Now initiative, the Free the Ocklawaha Coalition, Resilient Jax and others.

In addition to her many contributions over the years as a member of our Board of Directors, Carolyn has participated in various Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) events in the NE FL area and has been the team captain for the Atlantic Beach section of the Duval County CBC for the last three years. She has mentored multiple college students participating in Audubon Florida’s Conservation Leadership Initiative as well as a UNF student enrolled in the Institute of Environmental Research and Education’s Environmental Leadership Program. She also instituted and managed the volunteer program for our Lights Out Northeast Florida partnership initiative during its first full year of operation in 2021, a huge accomplishment that laid solid groundwork for us to continue the initiative without interruption into the future.

Family responsibilities are taking Carolyn away from our area for the next couple of years, but she says, “If I can leave behind one message it is to PLANT, PLANT, PLANT native trees, bushes, and flowers. Avoid fertilizer and pesticides as much as possible (accept weeds and bugs in your yard). As much as you can in your own realm, make the environment friendly to birds and the insects and plants they depend on. Always be mindful of your carbon footprint and your trash output. Contribute as little as possible to environmental decline.”

Chris ConnorWe can’t even begin to thank Carolyn appropriately for her hard work and dedication on behalf of our chapter over the years. She has made many more contributions than we can possibly fit into this short article, and we will miss her energy, her commitment, and her friendship. We wish her all the best!

We’re also saying farewell to Chris Conner (left), who served as our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Director and Volunteer Director since 2020. Chris is also moving out of the area, but we sincerely appreciate his contributions to our chapter during his tenure on our Board of Directors. You can learn more about Chris in this profile article we published when he joined our organization. Best wishes to Chris as well!

Thanks to both Carolyn and Chris doing so much for conservation and the environment, and for helping us “Connect People With Nature!”