By Mary Korkor
Every year, as May approaches, I feel a sense of excitement and anticipation. Migration is in full swing, gardens are coming alive with new growth and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do all that I wish to do. But this year is truly special. Yes, I am excited about the birds, and also my prairie which was just burned, but most importantly I am excited to start gathering with friends I haven’t seen in a long time.
Photo by Dan Pickarts
Cleanup at the former Cox home adjacent to the Cox Nature Center at Honey Creek has filled a 30-yard dumpster and also will send a lot of metal and old tires to a recycling facility.
It has been a long, strange and difficult year for all of us -- individually and as an organization. The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to cancel our 2020 convention and move the annual meeting into an online format. Field trips were canceled for a time and then relaunched with limitations and safety measures. Still, our organization has accomplished some rather amazing things:
- This month we welcome our first official employee, Rebecca Gilman as a much-needed administrative assistant. (Read more about her below.)
- With the purchase complete, we are working on emptying and removing the Cox house at Honey Creek, rescuing the logs underneath for future use and restoring the property.
- Our Honey Creek Birdathon/Bandathon, which provides funding for the maintenance of our preserve in Sauk County’s Baraboo Hills will take place on Sunday May 16, and we are happy and eager to welcome members back to hike the trails and count birds with us.
This year we will be able to offer two hikes: at 7 a.m. our traditional walk up the main valley with a visit to the Dischler addition; and at 9 a.m. a hike specifically for birders wanting more education. (Banding will take place on a separate day again this year as a nonpublic event.)
- We also are preparing to roll out a new Regional Coordinator program that we hope will better connect us to our members throughout the state and in more diverse communities.
And, finally, we are about to embark on hiring an Executive Director to help provide the support and consistency required to build and sustain our programing and conservation efforts statewide.
- As an extrovert it has been a challenge to serve as president from behind a computer screen. I look forward to being at Honey Creek and meeting and birding with as many of you as can join us. It will be a wonderful way to mark the start of my second year as WSO president.
Stay safe and happy birding!