The mission of the 
Prairie Woods Audubon Society, as a chapter of the National Audubon Society, is to conserve the environment, to prese
rve wildlife and natural habitats, and to provide opportunities for education, nature appreciation, and fellowship. 

The planet in peril

Dear Audubon Chapter Leaders,

This week, we Americans witnessed one of the greatest upsets in political history. Now, as has been the case for 219 years, the United States expects a seamless transition of power – one of the great innovations of a representative democracy. I’m adding my voice to those of leaders across America in saying we wish this new president well and we look forward to working with his administration.

But we all know President-elect Donald Trump ran a campaign that was often at odds with Audubon’s goals and its mission. Beyond that, his campaign challenged core values that Audubon holds dear. I want to address both of those points today.

I also have a special request for every chapter. Please see the last paragraph of this message for details about an all-chapter sign-on letter concerning the lame-duck Congressional session.

Audubon has persevered and prospered through the tenure of presidents from across the political spectrum. Having seen administrations of all political flavors come and go, I want to assure you that we’re well positioned to continue to build on our 111-year legacy. It’s easy to talk about being a centrist network when political leadership has your back. But it’s even more valuable to be a centrist network when political leadership is in your face.

So, give yourselves the credit you’re due: We are a durable, respected, trusted, centrist conservation network with a deep and credible presence in communities all over the nation and the hemisphere. I learned that when I first arrived at Audubon 6+ years ago and I met Bobbie Hagood, the executive director of a land conservancy in South Carolina. I asked Bobbie why Audubon was so effective in a deeply conservative part of the U.S. and she told me, “Because y’all are from here and you understand our way of life.”

Because we are home-grown everywhere, we bring an authentic voice to the local and state policies that are likely to hold the greatest opportunities for progress over the next four years. From Sacramento to Helena to Tallahassee to Washington, D.C., Audubon’s policy leaders are known as pragmatists. We reflect a network of millions upon millions of people – from all across the political spectrum and of every conceivable background – who see, hear, and cherish birds every day.

You work every day in communities to plant gardens, clean up trash, protect special places and vulnerable species, fledge new baby birds from nest boxes or beaches, engage people in the joy of birds and nature, prepare the next generation of conservation leaders, and stand up as advocates for birds and the environment we share. Those are our strengths, and all of those things are more important today than ever.

We will work with this new administration wherever we can. And, based on its campaign promises, it seems clear we’ll inevitably oppose it as well. And when we do that, we will do it in full throat and with all of the tools we know how to use, while not cheapening or personalizing the civil discourse that makes democracy special.

But this election wasn’t just about policy differences. For many, it was about core values of inclusiveness and multiculturalism, of equity and fairness. As Audubon’s CEO, here’s my topline message to each of you today as individuals and as leaders in the Audubon network: We value you, we respect you and we support you. Whomever and wherever you are; however you vote; whether you’re White, Black, Asian, Latino, Native, or of another or mixed heritage; whether you’re Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist, or of any other faith or tradition; whether you or your family are immigrants; whether you have a disability; whether you are straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, asexual, or something else; and whatever your gender, I want to say as clearly as I can possibly say today how much we care for you. That’s a core value here at Audubon, and we stand firm in our values today and always.

We’ll have lots of conversations to come about how we will continue to make a difference for birds, our communities, and the environment in the days and months ahead. I welcome your questions and ideas.

I have zero doubt that birds are going to remain a powerful constant that can bring people together when we need it most. As Bruce Springsteen famously wrote, “Everybody’s got a hungry heart.” We will continue to help feed hearts across America as we’ve always done.

And now something for today: Please join your fellow Audubon chapters in signing this letter to Congressional leaders to call for strong funding during the upcoming lame-duck session for programs and policies that protect our nation’s birds and other wildlife. All you need to do is add your chapter name, individual name, and title. Please sign by November 30, 2016, so that we can deliver the letter when Congress convenes in December.

Today, more than ever, you’re what hope looks like to a bird.

David Yarnold

President and CEO

National Audubon Society


Thank you for your support.


Fun Time For Prairie Woods Audubon's 
40th Anniversary!

PWA's 5 Presidents from the past and present:
(from left to right):  D. Heaton, N. Wedow, L. Vassmer (Present Pres), R. Johnson and B. Herner

Pres Vassmer

Thursday, March 16, 2017 


Spring Valley Nature Ctr

PWA presents:  




A suburban bird-lover got his first camcorder in 1992 and immediately mounted it on a tripod overlooking the large retention pond outside his back door.  

His four bird-feeders attracted not only the locals, but the twice-yearly migration crowd.  

Short video clips of amazing waterfowl and perching birds’ habits comprise only a fraction of the “rock-stars” in the collection presented in this month’s program by “The Bird Man”.

Please join us for this amazing event with your presenter, Jerry Chern!  

This is a PWA EXCLUSIVE!  Get there early for the best seats.  

Snacks and social starting at 7.  We will begin the program promptly at 7:30.  Looking forward to seeing you all!  

See you there! 

Vassmer Copyright 2014