Established in 1985, the Mamie Campbell Award is given to our most important and dedicated volunteers. Established in 2012, the Audubon Society of Portland Youth Leadership Award is given to young volunteers who demonstrate leadership and a deep commitment to learning about and caring for the environment.
Youth Leadership Award
Established in 2012, the Audubon Society of Portland Youth Leadership Award is given to young volunteers who demonstrate leadership and a deep commitment to learning about and caring for the environment. This year we recognize Lucian Himes. Lucian exemplifies the youth of today who are learning about the environment and sharing their knowledge with others. Just last year, he donated over 100 hours sharing that knowledge with other young people through leading sanctuary tours and helping with children’s classes. According to Ian Abraham, our Onsite Program Specialist, “Lucian’s growth as a sanctuary tour leader has been impressive! He has become adept at working with students his own age and younger. His understanding of the Natural History of the Audubon Sanctuary is a true asset to the sanctuary tour program, and we thank him for his tremendous work and commitment to Portland Audubon.”
The inaugural recipients of this award were Christopher and Adrian Hinkle.
Generosity and Commitment: The Mamie Campbell Award
Mamie Campbell was an important figure in Portland Audubon’s early years. A long-time and active volunteer herself, Mamie was instrumental in establishing the Jr. Audubon Club in Portland. Mamie was an ardent conservationist and helped distribute environmental brochures to area schools in the 1920s and 30s. She was also a tireless leader of the Lucy Club, which organized Portland Audubon Society social and special events during the early 1900’s and was named after Lucy Audubon, the wife of James Audubon.
The Mamie Campbell Award is the highest honor given to Portland Audubon volunteers, and it recognizes the dedication and service each recipient has tirelessly given. This year, the Portland Audubon staff presented the Mamie Campbell Award to 7 deserving volunteers.
Cecile Valastro started volunteering in the Wildlife Care Center in 2006 and has donated almost 3,000 hours of service there. While most Care Center volunteers have a weekly four-hour shift, Cecile does a regular four-hour Monday morning shift but then stays another three hours as an Education Bird Assistant. As such she’s responsible for making sure all of the ed birds are weighed, fed, their enclosures cleaned, and that they get some sort of special enrichment. Deb Sheaffer, our Wildlife Vet, describes Cecile as “an amazing volunteer who has a strong background in raptor handling and is a huge asset when it comes to caring for the large raptors in the hospital.” You can see Cecile out every Monday afternoon with a bird on her glove and a smile on her face.
Jennifer Parks began volunteering in 2004 and has since given Portland Audubon 3,732 hours as an ed bird handler and substitute for our Ed Bird Assistants. Jennifer often comes in at the last minute when an Assistant or handler is sick and we need a volunteer to take a bird to an event. In fact, Sally Loomis, Nature Store Buyer, relays a story about when Jennifer came to the rescue one Saturday during a kids’ birthday party in Heron Hall. They’d arranged for an education bird to make an appearance; but, unfortunately, the scheduled handler was sick. By the way, these were not well-behaved kids, and they were about to tear Heron Hall apart (that’s one reason we don’t do birthday parties any more), but Jennifer stepped in with an education bird and saved the day!
Bob Schmitt does a lot of things here at Portland Audubon. He began volunteering in the Wildlife Care Center in 2008 but has since branched out to help in the Nature Store and handle the education birds. As such, he’s donated almost 2,000 hours of much-appreciated service. Bob is also a WART! That’s our Wild Animal Rescue Team so we often rely on Bob to pick up animals during his free time. Lacy Campbell, our Wildlife Care Center Operations Manager, says “Bob is great! He was one of the first people she ever met at Audubon on her very first visit here, and he was so welcoming and engaging. Bob has a great attitude and is a problem solver. We really appreciate everything he does at Audubon.”
Patty Newland’s an amazing volunteer in the Education Department. She began volunteering in 2008 when she took the Master Birder class and has since donated almost 3,000 hours. She’s on, not one, but two Birdathon Teams: The Lagerhead Shrikes and she leads the Pintails to Pinots team. Patty leads several Audubon Outings, is a reliable and expert trip leader, is one of those exceptional birders who help people spot and identify birds at Raptor Road Trip, and she helps with adult classes. Eric Scheuering, our Adult Education Manager, says “Patty is lots of fun to have on a trip—and you never know when she’ll break out her ukulele!” You can join Patty on upcoming trips to the Steens Mountains this year and Magee Marsh and the Malheur Foray next year.
Dick Demarest began volunteering with the Education Department in 2001 and has dedicated almost 1,000 hours of service by participating in Birdathon and leading Audubon Outings and Road Scholar Programs at the coast. In fact, Dick has helped on the North Oregon Coast Road Scholar Program for many years, including showing Eric Scheuering “the ropes” on his very first trip in 2014. According to Eric, “Dick is full of knowledge about Oregon history and has a friendly, personable leadership style that makes all participants feel included in the group. His strong variety of interests allow him to connect with people on many levels. Dick also helps monitor birds at the Fernhill Wetlands.
If you want to see a smiling, welcoming face, come to the receptionist desk on Tuesday afternoons. You’ll find Melinda McCoy there. Melinda began volunteering in 2013 but has already contributed over 600 hours of service. She does a little bit of everything including being a receptionist, helping in the Nature Store, leading school kids through the sanctuary as a Sanctuary Tour leader, and helps with lots of special events. According to Keia Booker, our Office Administrator and Executive Assistant, “Melinda dives right into any assignment, whether it be at the receptionist desk, the Wild Arts Festival, or the Nature Store; and that’s in between her actual diving expeditions off the coast and around the world.”
Carol Enyart has been volunteering in the Nature Store since 2012; and, between her shift there and helping with artist jurying for the Wild Arts Festival, Carol has given almost 1,000 hours of service. Carol also helps with the Wildlife Care Center Open House every year. Sally Loomis appreciates Carol’s ability to organize anything. “Give her a messy, even vaguely disgusting area in the Nature Store or in the Heron Hall kitchen, and she’ll whip it into shape. Carol is always on the lookout for the supply drawer that’s gone wacko or the toy display in chaos. Her heroic efforts a few years ago to clean the kitchen resulted in her role with the Wild Arts Festival. A staff member was asked if she could recommend a volunteer who was good at organizing things, and Carol immediately came to mind.
Please join the Portland Audubon staff in congratulating the 2016 Mamie Campbell Award winners.