Special Member Meeting: Name Change Vote

We have a very important meeting to share with you all. On March 20th, 2024 at Matthaei Botanical Gardens at 7:30 PM, we will vote in an up or down vote to ratify our newly selected name: Washtenaw Bird & Nature Alliance! Please plan to attend if you are a member, as of March 15th or join/renew by then. You may contact our membership chair, Diana Miller to check your membership status if you are not sure. Only members can vote. According to our Constitution and By-laws, our votes to change the constitution must be in person, and fulfill a certain percentage of our members in attendance. Don’t miss the chance to help us make this historic change.

I want to give you all an idea of how we decided upon Washtenaw Bird & Nature Alliance. In October, at our in person meeting at Matthaei Botanical Gardens, members overwhelmingly voted to drop the name of Audubon from our organization. Members wanted to avoid names that sound exclusive like ‘society and club’ and people’s names like Audubon or Wilson. There is a movement afoot within sister organizations across the country, including some in our immediate vicinity, to use the name Bird Alliance. In fact Detroit Audubon recently adopted Detroit Bird Alliance as their new name. We sincerely hope National Audubon (NAS) will reconsider their decision to keep Audubon, and believe that a consensus name among our sister organizations, like Bird Alliance, is a great way to move NAS in this direction. We took a poll of our members, which was sent out in October after the meeting, and over 150 WAS community members responded!! Thank you!! The most abundant name suggestions contained Bird Alliance. Next, we formed a subcommittee of interested community members and WAS Board members, who decided on 3 name alternatives from the suggestions of members, all incorporating the Bird Alliance moniker. Then in a recent vote of the WAS Board, we decided upon Washtenaw Bird & Nature Alliance. The word Audubon always meant more than birds to me and others, so we added Nature to our new proposed name to encompass all we do. Ever been to a Butterfly Walk, Moth Night, Museum Insect or Herbarium tour or one of our Nature Walks? We are Birds AND Nature.

Please plan to join us at Matthaei at our March 20th, 7:30 PM meeting to ratify our new name!! I promise to bake another BIG cake and we can all have a festive naming party of special significance!

I am looking forward to seeing you all at the naming party!
Good birding,
Juliet Berger, President
Washtenaw Audubon Society