Summit 2018

Audubon Award Winners

Audubon North Carolina depends on the grassroots support of our members, whose dedication never ceases to amaze!

Our success is a direct result of the inspiring work of Audubon volunteers, chapter members and leaders, as well as partners in conservation organizations across the state.

Our biennial Summit offers an excellent opportunity to shine the spotlight on those who have made a big impact on North Carolina’s birds and our efforts to protect the places they need.

At our awards banquet, we surprise and celebrate three special individuals – and thank them for their efforts.

Our 2018 Award Winners Are:

Sara Schweitzer, Wildlife Diversity Program Coordinator for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission

Sara is our 2018 “Honorary Warden Award” recipient for exemplary service in protection of our state’s most important bird habitats and sanctuaries. Through her work with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, Sara has been our go-to partner in nesting colonial waterbird conservation for eight years and counting.

Over the past eight years, Sara has led waterbird work in North Carolina by organizing annual statewide surveys, instigating and coordinating research projects, and advocating for coastal birds in every possible way. In addition to working on the ground with waterbirds, Sara serves on too many committees and working groups to count, tackling tough issues as varied as Black Rail habitat loss and increasing human diversity within the biological sciences. They may not know it, but our birds have a tireless champion in Sara Schweitzer!

Past Recipients
Harry LeGrand, 2016
Mark Johns, 2013
Town of Wrightsville Beach, 2012
Bob Cherry, 2011
Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust, 2010

Will Stuart, Mecklenburg Audubon Society member and NC Native Plant Society Board Member

Will received our 2018 “Bird-Lore Conservation Education Award” for his exceptional efforts to educate the public about birds, their habitats, and to inspire conservation of the special landscapes we share with all wildlife.

Dozens of times over the years we’ve called on Will to ask permission to use his bird and native plant photos for yet another brochure, blog post or press release, and his answer is always the same: Use my photos for anything that does good. Will’s iconic photo of an American Goldfinch on a Purple Coneflower is THE photo for the National Audubon Plants for Birds database!

Will’s photos are gorgeous, well-composed, technically outstanding, and inspiring. They’ve done a ton of good since we’ve started using them and will continue to do more!

Past Recipients:
Frank Newell, Eastern Bluebird Rescue Group, 2016
John Connors, 2013
Cissie Brooks, teacher at Wrightsville Beach Elementary, 2012
Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, 2011
Highlands Biological Station, 2010
Partners for Environmental Justice and the NC Botanical Garden, 2009

Tom Tribble, Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society President

Tom received our 2018 “Volunteer of the Year” award for his outstanding effort in support of the state office, staff, local chapters and our shared conservation goals.

A dedicated birder and Audubon member since 1975, Tom is known to friends as “the Ambassador of Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary” because he has spent so much time facilitating bird walks for groups ranging from local Boy Scouts to faith groups and garden clubs.

Field Organizer Kim Brand with award winner and Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society President Tom Tribble. Photo: BCDC Ideas

Tom’s work extends throughout the greater community, where he is determined to build his chapter’s capacity for inclusivity: currently, Elisha Mitchell is partnering with local St. Eugene’s church to add 300 bird-friendly native plants to their Friendship Garden or “Jardin de la Amistad.”

We are so fortunate to have volunteers like Tom Tribble advocating for birds in western North Carolina. His projects create a springboard for engaging churches, schools, and local businesses to build an ever-more-effective network from the mountains to the coast!

Past Recipients:
Charlotte Goedsche, 2017
Jill Palmer, 2016
Kim Brand, 2013
Marlene Eader, 2012
Doris Ratchford, 2011
Brock Hutchins, 2010

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