Members Vote to Drop Audubon and Pursue Name Change

[Ann Arbor, MI], [Wednesday, October 18, 2023] — Washtenaw Audubon Society, a southeast Michigan bird conservation organization, is excited to announce a significant step towards a more inclusive future. After careful consideration and extensive member engagement, the organization has decided to drop the “Audubon” from its name and embark on an initiative to change its name in the coming months. This change represents a pivotal moment as it seeks to be more inclusive, especially to the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community.

Founded in the early 1950’s, the Washtenaw Audubon Society has been a stalwart champion of bird conservation, environmental education, and habitat preservation in the Washtenaw County area. As the organization has grown, it has become increasingly evident that its name should reflect a more diverse and inclusive perspective. By removing the “Audubon” label, it takes a bold step towards creating a welcoming environment for all members of the community, regardless of their background or ethnicity.

The decision to drop the “Audubon” from the name was not made lightly. The organization sought input from its members, stakeholders, and the broader community to ensure that the move had broad support. At a general meeting of its members, held the evening of Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens auditorium, sixty seven members cast their ballot with sixty one voting yes, 4 no, and 2 abstentions. 

“This decision is a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and diversity,” said Juliet Berger, President of the Washtenaw Audubon Society. “We believe that a more inclusive name will better reflect the richness of our community and allow us to engage with a wider range of individuals who share our passion for birds and nature.”

The organization will soon begin the process of selecting its new name and logo, marking an exciting chapter in its history. Details about the process will be shared with the community in the coming weeks. The organization welcomes suggestions and input from its members and the public as it finalizes its new identity.

For media inquiries or more information about the rebranding initiative, please contact:

Juliet Berger, President,

About Washtenaw Audubon Society: Washtenaw Audubon Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the enjoyment and conservation of wildlife and natural beauty in all possible ways, with a particular focus on birds. Founded in the early 1950s, it conducts various programs, field trips, conservation, and education efforts to promote awareness about birds and their importance in our ecosystem.