The National Audubon Society awarded Floridian Deborah Green the William Dutcher Award for the Southeast during its biennial convention in Milwaukee. This prestigious award acknowledges conservation volunteers in Audubon whose creativity and leadership are a model for others. Green has been a champion in Central Florida for habitat protection and energy efficiency and has served for twenty years as a member of Orange Audubon Society, including six years as president.
Among the many accomplishments for which she was recognized:
- Green created, secured $60,000 in grant funding, and implemented an energy efficiency program to retrofit homes and churches in an underserved Central Florida community.
- She has been key in the evolution of Audubon Florida’s Conservation Leadership Initiative (CLI), a statewide program to recruit college-aged Floridians to conservation and Audubon.
- As a champion for bird conservation, Green works tirelessly to bring ecotourism dollars to Orange County through the successful North Shore Birding Festival (now in its fifth year). The funds she raises help to provide educational kiosks, brochures, and docents for the nationally recognized Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.
- Green was one of the most successful advocates for 2014’s Amendment 1, working with millennials to gather signatures to ultimately pass the Land and Water Legacy amendment to the Florida Constitution.
William Dutcher was a prominent amateur ornithologist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and, in 1905, was appointed the first President of the National Audubon Society. The William Dutcher Award was created in his honor to recognize outstanding volunteer service by Audubon leaders that result in bird conservation at scale. As beneficiaries of Dutcher’s legacy, Audubon members can be proud to emulate him.
Audubon Florida’s Conservation Leadership Initiative (CLI) is a unique, intergenerational experience uniting Audubon’s leaders with some of the state’s best and brightest college students. CLI includes co-mentoring opportunities for Audubon leaders and college students in order to network, share, and learn from each other.
The North Shore Birding Festival on Lake Apopka in Central Florida invites birders from near and far who wish to learn more from well-known, knowledgeable birding guides. The festival runs January 16-20, 2020.