Southeast Volusia Audubon Society, P.O. Box 46, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170;

March 2020 Prez Sez

It's hard to believe but March starts the transition for snowbirds and SEVAS. Where did it go and what did we do as a chapter? It's a question we all need to look at, personally and as stewards of birds and the environment,

As a chapter we were awarded our first grant, $2500 to develop a plants for birds garden at the Marine Discovery Center. After many organizational meetings ground is expected to be broken by the middle of March and the project completed by the end of April. Next question could be should we apply for another grant should the opportunity present itself?

Monthly Board/administrative meetings have exceeded expectations. During our executive meetings just prior to our public meeting, much got discussed and much was accomplished. This freed up the regular monthly meetings to focus on our guest speaker and enjoy some comradery around the hospitality table, While we had some outstanding speakers and topics there was certainly room for more in the audience. How do we increase the interest of more folks?

Birds and Brew was a new program this year. And a highly successful one as well. Folks seem to enjoy an hour of birding and an hour of "brewing". We can look to build on the concept next year.

Field trips was another successful activity. Well attended, open to all, and safe to say, enjoyed by all. Thanks to all who take time to help the newbies and those who so willingly bring their scopes for all to share.

Administratively, the board has initiated a $20 annual support SEVAS donation. ($25 for couples). As we grow we see the need for greater income. Some ideas that come to mind are walkie talkies for the cars on field trips, buying extra sets of binoculars for new folks, especially the youth, to borrow and learn about the fun of watching birds. Plus there is the mundane of rent and other regular expenses. Hopefully, no one is offended by the asking of the donation and no one feels pressure to donate if they can't afford it. All will continue to be welcome, regardless.

Last but not least is the need for the evolution of leadership. While we are willing to commit to the co-president role for another year, the plan is not to become "Presidents for life". Help where you can and maybe consider filling the Vice President position which is currently empty. Election of officers will be the number one agenda item at the April meeting.

Bill and Marsha