Our 2021 Audubon Heroes!

Our Audubon volunteers and county citizens are essential in helping our community become aware of environmental issues and advocating for preserving and protecting our environment for marine life, animals (including humans) and plants to thrive. Annually we want to thank you and recognize special persons who have taken outstanding steps! With just a few part-time staff, our volunteers make all our events happen, including, classes and workshops, birding field trips, student programs, and grant writing for funding. They welcomed visitors and continued our ongoing projects at Audubon House.  At our annual meeting on March 15, 2021, Audubon recognized special outstanding contributions individuals have made to our chapter and our community.  These awards highlight folks and inspire us all to work together to improve our quality of life and make Indian River County a sustainable, environmentally, and friendly place to live.

Special Service Award to Bonnie Swanson For Outstanding efforts to give students an outdoors experience and her leadership and vision in making Pelican Island Elementary an Environmental Sciences School.

Board Member of the Year Award to Steve Goff for a Fantastic job as Treasurer keeping  our books, preparing budgets for the. Board and many grant applications. Steve also leads adventurous field trips.

Maggy Bowman/Conservationist of the Year Award to George Glenn, Jr., our Corresponding Secretary for doing so many things including fully supporting full appropriation for Florida Forever, stopping a bad Sebastian City annexation, strategizing on stopping M-Cores, and leading an excellent field trip to our premier Ft. Drum Marsh Conservation Area.

Environmental Educator Award to Diane Goldberg for demonstrating that if you plant native plants no HOA, city, or county governing body can have them removed. It took her going to court when Port St. Lucie’s Neighborhood Services Department cited her yard for having “high grass and weeds over 12 inches” tall, a violation of city codes. The Judge ruled: “Port St. Lucie homeowner’s ‘high grass and weeds’ are Florida-friendly flowers and legal!” Seek approval from your HOA, list what you are planting where, and that it is legal!

Environmental Citizen Award to Bruce Sabol for taking the initiative, investigating the lead in old paint flaking off the St. Sebastian River railroad bridge. Result? He got the FDEP to make Florida East Coast RR  finally take this peeling lead paint seriously and realize there is a threat to our health and children’s intellectual growth.

Environmental Citizen Award to Peter Hinck for promoting healthy water environments.  See his YouTube video The Tale Of Two Lakes comparing two Sebastian ponds with and without a herbicide treatment. Pete has posted 39 YouTube videos on local lagoon issues., with a focus on the seagrass losses and their effects on the clams and Manatees in the Lagoon.

Conservation Journalist Award to Mike Winikoff for the important work he has done writing in the Hometown News, informing our citizens of important environmental issues in our county.

Environmental Landscaping Award to Beth Powell, Asst. Director – Parks & Conservation Resources, Indian River County, for upgrading IRC’s parks and conservation lands with native plants, removing invasives, and installing new signage. She has made informative videos on different IRC protected habitats.

President’s Award to Dr. Graham Cox for writing outstanding grants that help fund our Audubon Advocates after-school and other education projects and also successful bringing in other grants  essential to our Tree and Native Plant distribution, developing Community Indicators, and keeping us informed on environmental issues reported in an array of credible web sites.

Volunteer of the Year Award to Barbara Riebe for many years of doing a terrific job supervising and working in our native gardens & plant nursery.

Special Recognition Award to Dee Fairbanks for Leading the South Brevard Christmas Bird Count for 9 years.  This is the best local data showing Climate Change is occurring now and  is hurting us, our wildlife and natural habitats.

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