PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE 2014/2015            

Four Rivers Audubon - Year in Review
August, 2014

Four Rivers Audubon had another great year!  The highlight was our Fourth Annual Alligator Lake Spring Festival, held on April 12, 2014.  Many of you were able to attend and volunteer for this fun event and this year was the most successful ever.  Over 700 attendees came out to the Park on a beautiful day to enjoy bird, butterfly and natural history Walking Workshops, and browse the booths of our many vendors, who sold items ranging from quilts, to native plants, to bird houses, statues, and feeders and much more.  Our local State Parks were represented, as well as the Columbia County Extension office, Florida Gateway College, and other local non-profits and schools.  Each year, the Festival has gotten better.  The purpose of the event is to introduce or reacquaint the public to the beauty of Alligator Lake and highlight its importance as a great bird habitat and the headwaters of the Ichetucknee.  We are really looking forward to our Fifth Annual Festival - mark your calendars, and save the date, April 11, 2015.

The Chapter has continued our monthly bird outings, “Alli Walks” at Alligator Lake, on the first Saturday of the month at 8:00 am.  Please check out our calendar or our website, fourriversaudubon.com for the schedule.  Our Christmas Bird Counts are also listed, please join us for a fun day of camaraderie and bird sighting, all in the service of Citizen Science.

Jerry Krummrich, our Field Trip Leader, continued his work to enhance the habitat for birds at Alligator Lake this year.  With the help of a Collaborative grant from Audubon, Jerry built a dozen Wood Duck boxes to replace some dilapidated boxes that had been installed some years ago.  The Park has good environment for the ducks, and we look forward to seeing the boxes in use.  Members also participated in a plant “weeding and removal” in an area at Ichetucknee Springs State Park to allow the native plants to thrive and grow, and hopefully improve the habitat for local birds.

Four Rivers members presented programs throughout the year, at the Lake City Public Library, and for youth groups, like the Scouts and others.  Look for notices about these programs, and other events, on your email.  If you would like to be added to these notifications, contact Jacqui Sulek at jsulek@audubon.org.  We plan to have programs again this year, and we hope to see you there.  Let us know if we could speak at an event or to a group you may know about.

As you may already know, the Florida Water and Land Legacy was  successful in placing  Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment on the ballot for Florida voters to decide on in November.  Floridians understand the value of clean and abundant water for people and wildlife, and they cherish the natural areas that make Florida special.  Amendment 1 will ensure that these values we share as Floridians will have a place in our state’s constitution.  To learn more about this Amendment 1, please visit www.VoteYesOn1FL.org .

Thanks for your continued support and participation in Four Rivers Audubon.  We hope to see you soon at one of our many events!

Valerie Thomas, President and the Four Rivers Audubon Board


 How Can I Become Involved With Four Rivers Audubon?

· Join a fun bird walk, an “Alli-Walk”, the first Saturday morning of each month, September through May.  Make new friends, learn new birding ID skills, and enjoy nature.

· Participate in a Christmas Bird Count or the Great Backyard Bird Count - become a Citizen Scientist.  See Audubon.org or contact Valerie Thomas v.thomas57@gmail.com for details.

· Volunteer to help our chapter organize and conduct our signature event, the Alligator Lake Spring Festival.  If you can’t volunteer, please come out and enjoy a fun, nature-based and educational day in Lake City on April 12, 2014.

· Work with other chapter members to enhance Florida’s Special Places, like Alligator Lake or Ichetucknee Springs State Park.  Watch for calls for volunteers.

· Save your Audubon magazines and other nature related publications to donate to others who might enjoy them.

· Create a wildlife habitat and certify your yard as bird and wildlife friendly.  Contact Lauri Shubert at gatewaywho@gmail.com to learn more.