Celebrating our 100th birthday at Tilden February 6, 2017

Posted by GGAS in GGAS Centennial, Golden Gate Audubon

By Ilana DeBare

Hey, if you turn 100, you’re allowed to celebrate for more than one day, right? Like maybe for a whole year?

That’s what we at Golden Gate Audubon are doing. For the Centennial of our founding in 1917, we developed a traveling museum exhibit that will be featured at different venues throughout 2017.

During February and March, it will be on display at the Environmental Education Center in Tilden Regional Park. We kicked off its Tilden stay with a reception last Saturday that included wine, women, and song.

Well… wines donated and served by our own genial enophile George Peyton. The song of birds on a pre-reception bird walk led by GGAS field trip leader Alan Kaplan and East Bay Regional Park District naturalist Anthony Fisher.

And women… celebratory speeches by GGAS board member Jill Weeder O’Brien, GGAS Executive Director Cindy Margulis, and East Bay Parks board chair Beverly Lane.

Pre-reception bird walk with Alan Kaplan, winner of our 2016 Paul Covel Education Award / Photo by Denny Scott Parker

Viewing the Centennial exhibit at the Tilden Environmental Education Center

Plus a wonderful speech by East Bay Parks General Manager Bob Doyle about the very productive, decades-long partnership between GGAS and the district.

“Audubon fought against development, even litigated, to protect shorebirds and habitat,” Doyle said. “I can’t tell you how important that is…. (and) I don’t know of any other partner that has done more to get kids to the shoreline, to learn about birds and the plants you restored to nourish the birds.”

East Bay Parks board chair Beverly Lane congratulates GGAS on our 100th anniversary

East Bay Regional Parks General Manager Bob Doyle with GGAS Executive Director Cindy Margulis

Attendees at the reception were stunned by the vibrant and detailed photographs of birds and Audubon activities in the 12 exhibit panels. But the back story behind the exhibit is nearly as impressive.

When the GGAS board started mulling how to celebrate the Centennial two years ago, they wanted an outward-facing celebration — something that would introduce Golden Gate Audubon to broad parts of the community that may never have heard of us.

They settled on the idea of a traveling exhibit that would appear at free public venues with a lot of foot traffic.

Cindy Margulis connected GGAS with a graduate-level seminar in Museum Studies at JFK University. GGAS became the class project! For about two months, these two dozen energetic students took a deep dive into GGAS’s culture and programs, reading our publications, surveying and interviewing volunteers, even going on GGAS field trips.

Volunteering in the field… appearing in the exhibit… and attending the reception!

The JFK students came up with the general concept and design parameters for the exhibit. GGAS staff pulled together the photos and text, with generous help from talented local bird photographers. The actual graphic design for the exhibit was provided pro bono by the local marketing/design firm of Airloom.space, which was started by our former office manager Shokai Sinclair.

The exhibit panels collapse into carrying cases slightly larger than birding scopes. With the move from our opening venue at the California State Building in San Francisco to the current venue at Tilden, GGAS volunteers are getting very proficient at setting the panels up and taking them down — managing set-up in about an hour!

We encourage you to visit the exhibit and bring your friends! It’s a great, visual way to introduce them to Audubon and Bay Area birds. While the exhibit is at Tilden, you can combine your visit with a bird walk to nearby Jewel Lake or – a favorite with kids – a visit to the Little Farm next door. (Bring some celery for the goats.)

The Centennial exhibit will be at Tilden through March 31st, Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The address is 600 Canon Drive, close to the parking lot for Jewel lake/Little Farm.  Later in the year, it will be on display in Oakland City Hall/Dalziel Building; the Tides/Thoreau Center at the Presidio, and at Lindsay Wildlife Experience.

Centennial Committee member Carol Baxter staffs the check-in table

George Peyton kept the wine flowing

Enjoying the Snowy Plover beer donated by Coronado Brewing Company

Tasty treats and good companionship

GGAS member Doug Mosher (left) curated a slide show that included bird images by photographers like Bob Lewis

Jacqueline Craig and Jan Sutcher provided sumptuous snacks

Sharing stories with former East Bay Parks board member John Sutter (right)

Cathy Bleier (right), coordinated the Tilden reception

We don’t LOOK 100, do we? 😉

Tags: East Bay Regional Park District, GGAS Centennial, GGAS Centennial Exhibit, Golden Gate Audubon Society.