Archive: June 2018



FCWC 53rd Annual Meeting

June 7, 2018 - 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Willson's Woods Park, Mount Vernon


At our 53rd Annual Meeting, five Audubon Society chapters were honored for their work in protecting birds and the places they need, and educating the public about the importance of birds. Arisa Fourie, a student from Valhalla High School, was also honored for her research project on birds and climate change.

Mt. Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas welcomed FCWC to Wilson Woods Park.  County Executive George Latimer presented FCWC and the Audubon Societies a proclamation declaring 2018 as “The Year of the Bird Throughout Westchester.” CE Latimer then swore in President Chuck Lesnick (of Yonkers), VP Anthony Sorrell (of Mamaroneck), Secretary (and president Emeritus Carole Griffiths (of Tarrytown) and Treasurer Larry  O’Connell (of Pleasantville).


County Legislator Mary Jane Shimsky and Representatives from Congressman Eliot Engel and Assemblyman Steve Otis presented awards to Suzanne Cahill (Bedford Audubon), Henry May (Bronx River Audubon), Christopher Mignone (Central Westchester Audubon), Michael Bocnik (Hudson River Audubon), and Anne Swaim and Tom Ruth a (Saw Mill River Audubon).

The activities of the Audubon chapters in Westchester include field trips, workshops, nature walks, lectures, school programs, scientific research, scholarships, and advocacy for birds and their habitats. Arisa Fourie’s project is “Climate Change Effects on Bird Populations in the United Stated States” and she will be attending Juniata College in the fall.

Here's the program from the event:

Arrive by 5pm to enjoy a glass of wine, network with other members and walk the beautiful grounds of Willson's Woods Park.

5:30pm - 5:35pm 

Welcome by Carole Griffiths, FCWC President and Mt. Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas


5:35pm - 6:00pm

Opening Remarks by Carole Griffiths, FCWC President


6:00pm - 6:30pm    

Picnic Supper


6:30pm - 7:00pm

Proclamation by County Executive George Latimer - Westchester County Year of the Bird. 


Presentation of FCWC’s Green Seal Awards

By Anne Jaffe-Holmes, Managing Director; Jason Klein, Carolyn Cunningham, Chuck Lesnick, Steven Levy, Carole Griffiths, Board Members; MaryJane Shimsky, Westchester County Legislator; Steve Otis, New York State Legislator

    Bedford Audubon

    Bronx River - Sound Shore Audubon

    Central Westchester Audubon

    Hudson River Audubon

    Saw Mill River Audubon

Presentation of FCWC’s Edith G. Read Award by Carole Griffiths, President


    Arisa Fourie, Valhalla High School


7:00pm - 7:30pm

Election of Directors by Jason Klein, FCWC Board Member and President Emeritus

  1. FCWC member vote for Board Class of 2021

  2. Board vote for Officers


Closing Remarks by Carole Griffiths, FCWC President

Arisa Fourie is graduating this year from Valhalla High School and will be attending Juanita College where she will study environmental science and zoology.  She chose her project on Birds and Climate Change because she has always loved nature and animals. After deciding on a project, she looked for a gap in research and so "Climate Changes Effect on Bird Population in The United States" was born.  


Bedford Audubon proudly serves over 40 communities of northern Westchester and eastern Putnam counties. For more than a century, Bedford Audubon has studied, protected, and celebrated nature in the Hudson Valley. Their mission is to connect people to nature. Workshops, nature walks, lectures and field trips are some educational experiences offered for individuals and families.  Their projects work to protect and conserve publicly accessible habitats in their wildlife sanctuaries, native gardens and the community.  They participate in activities conducting critical conservation research and advocate for bird, wildlife and habitat locally and across the Atlantic Flyway.


Bronx River - Sound Shore Audubon, founded in 1947, serves over 600 members in Bronxville, Eastchester, Edgemont, Hartsdale, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Pelham, Scarsdale and Tuckahoe.  They sponsor free programs, field trips from September through May, and enrichment bird programs for second grade classes in Mt. Vernon schools. They provided  funds for a native plant garden in Tuckahoe, installed osprey poles at Hommocks Conservation Area and Premium Marsh, and give scholarships to both children and adults to attend ecology camps,.  Their Eastern Bluebird Project is in its 20th year, with over 300 nestboxes placed throughout Westchester, and over 30 nest monitors. Their sole fund-raiser is the semi-annual seed sale. More about their activities may be found at


Central Westchester Audubon is about birds, but also about education: education for their neighbors and community about what birds, animals, rivers and streams, trees and plants mean to our own lives and to the future of the Earth we all live on.  They serve Elmsford, Greenburgh, Harrison, Rye, Rye Brook, Port Chester, Purchase and White Plains


Hudson River Audubon serves the communities of Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington and Yonkers. The chapter meets at, and works closely with Westchester County's Lenoir Nature Preserve. Volunteer efforts at the preserve include the award winning Beverly E. Smith Butterfly/Hummingbird Garden, Hawk Day, FeederWatch, Lenoir Hawk Watch, and programs that are free and open to the public such as the long running Mother's Day Warbler Walk.  Michael Bochnik is president and also serves as its Field Trip leader. He is an avid birder and helps maintain the chapter's web and Facebook pages.  

Saw Mill River Audubon covers the northwestern third of Westchester County from Peekskill to Tarrytown with over 1,100 members from the Towns of Cortlandt, Yorktown, New Castle, Mount Pleasant and Tarrytown. Their three main priorities are Education, Advocacy and Habitat Stewardship.  They own eight wildlife sanctuaries in northern Westchester totaling over 300 acres and offer school and community workshops and field trips, including over 100 free public field trips a year. They work with Rockefeller State Park Preserve to lead Audubon guided field trips for the New York City School District and other under-served school districts through the New York State Connect Kids to Park Program, with over 1,000 students served over the past year. They are also focused on education and demonstration projects for native plants, especially plants benefiting birds, butterflies and pollinators. Saw Mill River Audubon volunteers have provided over 200 hours a year of environmental education and habitat monitoring and improvement at Croton Point Park, a New York State Important Bird Area for which they continue to advocate for an ongoing upgrade of natural resource management. More about their activities may be found at:


Photo by Melinda Quintero

George Latimer swears in FCWC Board Members
George Latimer swears in Chuck Lesnick

At our 53rd Annual Meeting, five Audubon Society chapters were honored for their work in protecting birds and the places they need, along with educating the public about the importance of birds.


Arisa Fourie, a student from Valhalla High School, was also honored for her research project on birds and climate change...

Read more here!

Photo by Melinda Quintero