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Caroline Sullivan is the 2018 Haidee Antram Award Recipient

The Haidee Antram Award was created 25 years ago by John and Elizabeth Newberry in honor of their daughter Haidee Antram, who was an enthusiastic volunteer at the Green Mountain Audubon Center. This award is a scholarship given to an exceptional intern or volunteer at the GMAC and is intended to further the recipient’s educational experience in the natural world. This year the GMAS is pleased to announce that Caroline Sullivan is the 2018 Haidee Antram Award recipient.

Photo courtesy of Audubon Vermont

Photo courtesy of Audubon Vermont

Caroline is a recent graduate of the University of Vermont, majoring in Environmental Studies. During the past year she served as an Americorps volunteer at the Center. In their nominating letter Debbie Archer and Kim Guertin took particular note of two workshops that Caroline organized at the Woodside Rehabilitation Center in Essex. This facility is located adjacent to the Woodside Natural Area, a birding hotspot in Chittenden County. Caroline first presented a brief introduction to birding and bird identification to her teen age audience, then asked the participants to select one bird to learn more about. She encouraged them to create posters about their chosen bird and present the results of their research to their peers.

These presentations were “wildly” successful, to coin a term. Caroline herself was gratified that her students became so enthusiastic about birding, a skill they can continue to pursue during their confinement and beyond. Caroline plans to continue her own education in environmental studies and is most appreciative of the support that the Haidee Antram Award will provide. The GMAS is honored to be able to assist Caroline in achieving her educational goals.

The GMAS Welcomes David Mears to Audubon Vermont

David Mears.jpg

It is with great pleasure that the GMAS welcomes David Mears, the recently-appointed Executive Director of Audubon Vermont. David brings a wealth of experience to Audubon. From 2005 to 2011 David was a faculty member at the Vermont Law School. In 2015, after a hiatus while serving in state government, he was named the head of the Environmental Law Center at VLS, a critical component of the law school’s program. In 2011 governor Peter Shumlin appointed David to the position of commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, a post he held until 2015.

In a press release announcing David’s appointment to his new position at Audubon Vermont David was quoted as follows:

“The work of protecting our wild places, from our mountains to our rivers, while ensuring the continued ecological health and vitality of our working forests and fields, has never been more important.”

We look forward to working with David and with Audubon Vermont in pursuit of his ambitious goals.


The Catamount Community Forest Becomes a Reality


The new Catamount Community Forest, formerly known as the Catamount Outdoor Family Center, became a reality in early May . The Trust for Public Land in Montpelier and the town of Williston, partnered to acquire this property and preserve 393 acres of forests, grassland, and wetlands in perpetuity. In 2012 the GMAS designated this property as an Important Bird Education site, recognizing its significance for breeding and migratory birds in Vermont. In 2018 the GMAS provided recommendations to the subcommittee of the Williston Conservation Committee charged with writing the wildlife management plan for the property. Our highest priority was to avoid mowing the fields at Catamount until after the Bobolink breeding season is over. This summer we monitored the easternmost field at Catamount and identified at least four breeding pairs of Bobolinks with evidence of nesting activity for the first time in at least four years. Read more about the results of our Bobolink surveys at Catamount by visiting the Hermit Thrush section of this website and reading the excellent summary written by Carl Runge.

Congratulations to the town of Williston and to the Trust for Public Land for successfully concluding this transaction and conserving this important property.


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From the Hermit Thrush

Wondering why plants are so important for birds?  Watch this video:

Banner image by Marc Faucher