Visions for the Chapter
by John Shenot
I’m very happy to report that I retired in December 2022. I could mark the occasion by writing a column explaining everything I hope to do with all my newly free time, but instead I want to write a column about my hopes for the future of FCAS.
My vision for FCAS is that everyone feels welcome, that appreciation of the natural world increases, and that our organization plays a larger role in the communities of Northern Colorado. We’ve made a concerted effort in recent years to be more relevant to more people. I doubt if our members know all the innovative things our committee chairs have done, so let me mention a few that didn’t get enough attention. We’ve started mapping birding hotspots for “birdability” so people with mobility challenges can decide where best to enjoy local wildlife (see page 1 for a related January guest presentation). We co-sponsored a bird walk for the blind, an introduction to birding for school children, and scholarships for students doing avian research. We reached out to younger adults with fundraisers that were fun (Birdcall Karaoke is a hit) and partnered with a local brewery to promote the Poudre River Important Bird Area (thanks Horse & Dragon). We’ve achieved gender equity on our Board of Directors and brought more young people into leadership roles.
But without question, there is more work to do. We haven’t done enough to make FCAS more racially diverse. We expanded our boundaries a year ago to en-compass Estes Park and parts of Weld County, but haven’t yet offered programs or services to people in those communities. And the important work of conserving and enhancing natural habitats and protecting wildlife is a job that never ends. I welcome input from members about how we can achieve these goals and how we can better serve you. I’ll also note that we’d love to have more volunteers on our Education Committee and our Conservation Committee. Please reach out if you want to help.