After fifteen long months without in-person programs, Southern Maryland Audubon Society held its annual meeting and picnic on July 10, 2021. What a delight to see everyone in person again! This was an extra special gathering because it marked the fifty-year anniversary of the 1971 founding of our Audubon chapter!
Fifty folks joined us at Smallwood State Park, where we recently helped install an Osprey nest cam. (That project was funded by our fantastic supporters at JES Avanti Foundation.) We were especially grateful that former SMAS presidents and longtime board members Carol Ghebelian, Dr. Ernest Willoughby, and Dr. Gwen Brewer joined us.
Representatives for the Town of La Plata also shared in our celebrations: Mayor Jeannine James and town council members David M. Jenkins and James Goldsmith. Chair of the SMAS Conservation Committee, Bob Lukinic, presented them with the Conservationist of the Year Award.
The committee recognized their commitment to protecting and enhancing the natural resources of our community. In particular, the Town of La Plata was the first to be named Bird City in the state of Maryland. It has also won funding for an urban tree canopy project and pursued many other conservation initiatives. Congratulations and thank you, La Plata, for all you do for birds and the environment! Mayor James surprised us and presented SMAS with a special commendation for our fifty-year anniversary as well.
A groovy 1971 playlist and tie-dye clothing helped cap the festivities, along with lovely fresh flowers and a custom celebratory cake. After a very challenging program year, a fantastic time was had by all!