President’s Notes – March-April, 2017
by Ken Wiersema
Nest Boxes ’17 — On Feb 25th, a bright sunny Sequim winter day, 6 skilled OPAS box builders guided 23 folks in the assembly of bird boxes for this nesting season. It was the 16th year we’ve done a box building program at the Center. The careful preparation of precut kits by Bob Phreaner, and Dan Stahler ensured proper box parts, reduced waste, reduced lines and waiting for parts to be cut, and still provided each participant with the opportunity to put “sweat” equity into their box. We build these boxes at the leading cusp of arriving migratory song birds late each winter. The cavity nesting birds readily take to boxes that are built to the size they prefer and with the right opening to give them the best chance for successful nesting and fledging their young. Many thanks to Bob Phreaner, Dan, Carl, Mark, Gary, and Powell for the generous contribution of their time and experience to this project. And, as Gary observed, “everyone went home with a box and a smile”. Plus we raised over $350 to support the Center’s operation.
River Center Operations – As we’ve discussed at our OPAS meetings and you’ve seen in this newsletter, the River Center is about to commence a Capital Campaign to raise funds toward constructing an addition to the Center that will more than double its meeting and operating space. More information will be out on the Campaign soon. An essential and equally important funding need continues throughout the Campaign, and that is to fund the day-to-day operations of the Center. Powell and his staff are continuing to improve and expand the education program that our Center offers to the community, so please be generous and participate in the annual funding events, such as BirdFest, River Center Rally, Nature Mart, and the Fall Fundraiser. Many of our members make a monthly contribution toward the Center’s operation; please consider it in your family planning.
Advocacy and policy — OPAS acts as one of the strongest voices in our community for our environment and the habitats of the birds who cannot advocate for themselves. Please study the Conservation and policy articles in this newsletter, then write and call your elected representatives, and comment to the regulatory state and federal agencies on proposed policy matters. Our OPAS conservation committee studies and prepares comments on matters on your behalf. Give them a hand. Come to a Conservation Committee meeting. Become engaged – the birds may not thank you, but they’ll know!
Added personal note — Many thanks from my wife Nancy and I, to so many of you who have reached out to us with comfort and support in a very difficult time. Her spirits remain high; she’s responding well to her treatments. She’s even tolerating my cooking and housekeeping!