The 2021 Friends Annual Meeting drew participants from Michigan, Ohio, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Minnesota, and Colorado, as well as Jacksonville, Suwannee, Cedar Key, and Gainesville. That was a unexpected bonus from having the meeting on Zoom!
More than half of the participants said the had been to the refuge sometime during the pandemic. That fit with Andrew's report that visitation was way up as people really wanted to get out and about. the refuge was one of the go-to destinations for north Florida folks.
We used a graphic recorder, Karina Branson of ConverSketch, for this year's meeting. The summary panels are above. Below are time-lapse videos her drawing those panels as the presentations were happening in real time. Here's hoping you enjoy them!
The Welcome time-lapse video
The Refuge Update time-lapse video
The Friends Update time-lapse video
Friends, Feasts, and Fishes
The Featured Presentation time-lapse video
With the Welcome Desk still closed due to the pandemic and most community festivals cancelled, Friends merchandise has been unavailable to our members and friends for months.
But fear not, we have recently opened the Friends Online Store through this website. We have started with a limited number of items as we learn the ropes of managing the store and fulfilling orders with an all-volunteer crew.
This is how it works. We recruited a volunteer for each item that is available for purchase: hats, luna-moth shirts, trees-of-the-refuge shirts, swallow-tailed kite shirts, and soon butterfly shirts. Each volunteer has the inventory of that item at home. When the store receives an order, the volunteer who is fulfilling orders for that item pulls out the stash of the item, packages it up, gets the postage, and mails it with the USPS. This may not be slick, but we hope it works!
We are delighted to be making the items available again so you can wear them and spread the word about our great refuges.
The Friends 2021 Annual Meeting is coming up on Saturday February 27 at 10:00a.m. It will be a ZOOM ONLY meeting.
You can sign up now. Email firstname.lastname@example.org:
On the other hand, you can attend even if you did not come south this winter and are still enjoying the snowy north country. You won't have to worry about rain, cold, or noseeums. And, in many ways the Annual Meeting will be very much like last year’s.
Refuge Manager Andrew Gude will tell us what has been happening during the pandemic.
Current president, John McPherson, and president-elect Peg Hall will provide updates on the many things accomplished by the Friends organization this year including:
Friends, Feasts, and Fishes: Facilitating Ancient Gatherings within the Lower Suwannee Region
The topic is rooted in her archaeological research within the refuges and focuses on the fishing practices that supplied Shell Mound’s ancient gatherings.
There will also be Chat Rooms where we can gather in small groups for open discussion.
We look forward to receiving your sign-up emails and to seeing everyone at the meeting.