People agree to join the board of directors of Friends for reasons such as their love of the outdoors, their appreciation of the importance of the Refuges to the way of life in our area, the importance of Refuges in preserving and conserving wild life and wild places for current and future generations, and because it is a cool group of folks who enjoy working together.
Even though Friends is a small nonprofit organization compared to big guys such as The American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, or the YMCA, our board members have a lot of rather heady responsibilities,
Since Friends elected several new board members at the Annual Meeting, and to assure all the board remember the roles and goals, a Board Orientation happened in April.
The discussion included these topics. If you want to hear more about any of them, leave us a comment.
Founding and history:
Friends' member Del Bottcher related the following account and beautiful photos of his recent trip on the Lower Suwannee Refuge.
“Upper Dan May Creek is a fun but tricky navigation through the marsh channels from the McCormick Creek launch. Better have GPS, bug spray, and check the tides. Passed a manatee on way. Can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning." - Del Bottcher
Check out more about McCormick Creek here.
On the morning of May 4, about 75 4th graders will arrive at Shell Mound by school bus for a Junior Ranger adventure. With the help of Refuge staff, teachers, and Friends' volunteers, they will complete their workbooks, be sworn in, and receive their Junior Ranger badges.
Help! Friends needs volunteers who will be stationed at key places along the Dennis Creek Trail where they will receive groups of kids as they move from station to station and work through the pages relevant to each spot.
It will be an all-morning-long commitment. It is our first group Junior Ranger exercise. We want to assure that each child succeeds. Please, can you help??
Email email@example.com to volunteer and be part of this adventure.
Update: A Friends member from Ohio just gifted the 200 workbooks.
Thank you John Douglass!
At the top of Friends' Wish List this month is $600 to purchase 200 additional copies of the Junior Ranger workbook. Two school groups and a summer kids' program have asked about completing the program. That would be about 150 books we would want to provide.
When we have classes who want to become Junior Rangers, we would like to be able to give the workbooks to them.
Several individual kids from around the country have completed the workbooks after downloading them from our website. One family in Texas has three kids who work as a team to complete workbooks from various refuges. Two of the kids are disabled and they do the pages together so all can help each other and get badges. Some of their pages, which they photographed and sent to us, are below. We will mail their badges and ask for a photo to show later.
To help, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit or Wish List page.
In an effort to reach more people in different locations, Friends volunteers have been moving around in March and April.
RIver Trail: Pete Tirrell, Heather Evans, and Bill Dummit reported that 20 visitors came and they chatted with 14. One visitor was head of the Department of Conservation for the state of Pennsylvania. She was impressed with the refuge. She and her brother now own the last two blue Cedar Key NWR hats. Never fear, they're reordered!
Shell Mound: Debbie Meeks and Jeri Treat talked with the 33 people who visited.
Cedar Key Chamber Welcome Center: Peg Hall, Linda Kimball, and Jeri Treat have been spending several Saturdays and Sundays engaging the many visitors.
Seahorse Key Open Houses: Two open houses were held in March. First one had 98 visitors, and second one 97! Thanks to Friends' members Jeri Treat, Heather Evans, Pete Tirrell, Debbie Meeks, Chuck Adams, and Ron Kamzelski for volunteering.
We need more volunteers to help with these worthwhile and enjoyable activities. Interested? Send an email to email@example.com.