On Sunday, June 4th we hosted our Annual Meeting and Picnic at the fabulous Mount Aventine at Chapman State Park, Charles County. This historic 1840 manor overlooking the Potomac River is breathtaking, and the weather was perfect. Being one of our Important Bird Areas made it an ideal choice. The 2254 acre site on the shores of the Potomac River offers miles of trails and an unusual array of coastal plain habitats. The manor house is supported by the not for profit volunteer organization Friends of Chapman State Park who offer many programs throughout the year. This manor house and lush property are a must for all to see and enjoy!
Many members brought delicious side dishes and contributed toward the fried chicken, all of which we enjoyed while sitting outside on the front porch. The river view, the breeze, and the company made the meal especially satisfying. Thereafter we held our annual elections of officers (no change) and directors. Welcome aboard Tim Wells, our new director!
Every year SMAS presents a Conservationist of the Year Award. This year we were happy to present it to the Charles Soil Conservation District. Their stellar environmental work made them an obvious and much deserving choice.
The SMAS board of directors also presented a special award this year to our Raptor Conservation Committee. The committee soared to new heights with multiple Barn Owl banding events that generated 300% over projected income. We applauded the chair, Mike Callahan, and our Adopt-a-Raptor chair, Carole Schnitzler, for their hard work and effort. Mike received an Audubon Barn Owl print; Carole was given a silver Barn Owl necklace.