Timeline for Wichita Audubon Society (1954-2004)

(Compiled by founding member J. Walker Butin)


1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969

1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979

1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004



05/53          Corresponded with National Audubon regarding the formation of a local branch society.


Early 1954   Application to NAS for charter for a local group of at least 15 persons interested in establishing and developing a local branch.


04/28/54     20 interested birders met in the East High classroom of Alice Davis.  John Macmillan, WSU biology department, was speaker.


05/09/54     First annual “Big Day” count with 85 species identified.


05/19/54     First official meeting of WAS with constitution, by-laws and election of officers:  Walker Butin, President; Willard Peters, Vice President; Pearlanna Briggs, Secretary; Norma Bayless, Treasurer.  Board of Directors:  Macmillan, Frank Bayless, J. D. and Mrs. Dresser, Floyd Amsden and Dick Elving.


07/22/54     Midsummer meeting with committee appointments and new members.  Committee appointments:  Elmer Woolsey, Mrs. J. Stogsdill, Paul and Marge Schweinfurth, Geneva Kinkade, C. H. Morris, Forest Beckett.  New members:  Dan Kilby, Kirk Downing, Jennibelle Watson, Edward Beals.


09/26/54     Several Auduboners assembled at dawn at Lake Afton to confirm a Wichita Eagle-reported sighting of 24 Whooping Cranes only to find 24 White Pelicans instead!


10/24/54     First organized trip of the Society to Cheyenne Bottoms.  47 species were identified.


11/30/54      Harrison B. Tordoff, Associate Curator of Ornithology at KU, spoke at the November meeting on TV tower casualties at Topeka in October.


01/02/55     First Christmas Count of the Society.  28 participants identified 55 species.


03/07/55     Field trip to Great Salt Plains, where 30 eagles are observed.


04/19/55     Annual Member’s Meeting with election of new officers:  Dick Elving, President; Bill Stark, V. President; Pearlanna Briggs, Sec.; Louise Watson, Treas.  Board Members:  John Mcmillan, Willard Peters, Floyd Amsden, Margaret Hayes, Walker Butin.


02/10/56     Decided at Board of Director’s meeting to apply to NAS for Audubon Screen Tours.  Jennibelle Watson agreed to be our local representative.


04/24/56     Annual meeting with election:  Ralph Wiley, President; Dan Kilby, V. President.  New board:  Geneva Kinkade, Kirk Downing.


04/28/56     WAS hosted the meeting of the Kansas Ornithological Society on the WSU campus.  The high point of the banquet was the unique tongue whistling of Dr. James Butin with his bird imitations.  Field trip the next day featured shore birds at Cadillac Lake and climaxed with a drive to the heron colony at Bentley (largest in the state with 100-125 nests).  Total species count was 114.


10/24/56     First Screen Tour held at 20th Century Club featuring Fran Wm. Hall of Northfield, MN speaking about Hawaii.


12/30/56     3rd annual Christmas count was held.  20 birders elected to pay 50 cents each for participation.  The species total of 60 was the best to date.


01/11/57      Board of Directors made decision to return Screen Tours for a second season, with a venue change to Roosevelt Jr. High.


03/25/57     O. S. Pettingill presented his film “Penguin Summer”.


10/15/57      Second season of Screen Tours opens at new location drawing 400-500 viewers.


12/29/57     4th Christmas Count was held with 17 observers totaling 57 species.  Among those present was Harry Hobson, who had been the lone reporter of Christmas Counts prior to 1954, as well as Max Thompson of Udall.


01/20/58     Mike Harder’s “Scope” TV program featured Wichita Audubon.  Kilby, Stark, Butin and Jennibelle Watson discussed our local organization and its affiliation with National Audubon, along with our common aims for conservation and appreciation of birds in particular.


04/22/58     Annual meeting with election:  Carl Holmes, President; Nathan McDonald, V. President; Mary Wiley, Sec.  New Board Member:  Elmer Woolsey.


05/11/58      WAS “Big Day” totaled 88 species.  Best finds included Lazuli Bunting, Bobolink, Blue Grosbeak and Black-necked Stilt.


10/04/58     The 3rd season of the Screen Tours began, featuring Dr. Arthur Allen, Director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  His host was former pupil Dan Kilby.


01/22/59     The famous Roger Tory Peterson presented his film “Wild America” telling the story of the trek across the continent with British ornithologist James Fisher as they hoped to set a record bird list.  Many field guides were signed at the reception afterward.


04/10/59     O. S. Pettingill returned for his second Screen Tour film “Tip O’ the Mitten”.


05/14/59     Annual “Big Day” weekend total of 97 species included 12 warblers.


11/01/59      Field trip to “new” Quivira Wildlife Refuge with guided tour by refuge manager J. J. Harmon.  At that point the refuge consisted of 7,000 of the proposed 21,000 acres.


12/27/59     Scheduled Christmas Count cancelled by blizzard.  The count was held one week later (01/02/60) but strong northwest wind limited the total to 45 species, with the best find being a Peregrine Falcon.


05/15/60     “Big Day” totaled 82 species, with warblers being “abundant” and a flock of Buff-breasted Sandpipers at Cadillac Lake.


12/26/60     The Christmas Count, with 21 observers, recorded 55 species, including a flock of 25 Red Crossbills.


12/30/61      Nathan McDonald, President, reports Christmas Count by 20 birders who log 57 species featuring 10 pygmy nuthatches, 48 evening grosbeaks, and both red and white-winged crossbills.


03/28/62     Screen Tour film “The Faraway Falklands” featured penguins and marked the return of nationally known O.S. Pettingill to Wichita for the third time.


05/05/62     WAS again hosted the Kansas Ornithological Society on the WSU Campus.  Field Trips next day were reported by retiring President Orville Rice of Topeka, logging 126 species within a radius of 15 miles.


07/15/62     Chief of National Society’s Nature Centers Division to our meeting to lead discussion of what might be required to establish such a program in Wichita.


03/19/63     Ralph Wiley reviews Rachel Carson’s controversial book, “Silent Spring”, as WAS discusses the problem of pesticides and the environment.


04/17/63     Annual meeting with election of officers: Albert Briggs, President; E. A. Randall, V. Pres.; Mrs. Carl Packer, Sec.; Louise Watson, Treas.  New Board member: Dean Love.


10/16/63      Wm. Ferguson returned with his film, “High Horizons”, to open our 8th season, at West High Auditorium for the first time.


01/28/64     Arch O’Bryant’s column ‘The Bystander’ in the Beacon describes a WAS winter Field trip on the Simon Swanson farm on west Central.


07/03/64     The death of A.L. Hickman was reported. He was noted for his penmanship and had been prominent in the Audubon Society of Kansas and participated as well in many of our WAS activities.


10/07/64     The ninth season of our Audubon Screen Tours was initiated by Allan Cruickshank with his film, River of the Crying Bird.  850 attended and were mystified by the cries of the Limpkin.


11/20/64      Jennibelle Watson died after a short illness from abdominal cancer.  This was an incalculable loss and shock to all those who had known her, but especially to those who had worked with her from the beginning of the WAS Screen Tours.


12/26/64     Twenty stouthearted birders braved the north wind and temps of 16 above (F) for the Christmas Count.  Total species count was only 50.


02/10/65     Arch O’Bryant’s Bystander column quoted Dean Love about WAS interest in establishing a “nature education center” in the Wichita area—its goal to preserve “natural environment” otherwise lost to “progress.”


04/10/65     Annual meeting with election of officers:  Luray Parker, President; Carl Packer, V. Pres.; Mary Wiley, Sec.; and Louise Watson, Treas.


05/08/65     “Big Day in May” received extensive coverage by the Eagle in articles before, during, and after the count by 30 birders who totaled 121 species.  Kirk Downing identified 84 for the “most species” award while Mary Wiley’s Sora rail was the “most unusual”.


11/07/65      Field trip to the Oxford/Geuda Springs area hosted by Wally Champeny at the mill was attended by 36 observers, among whom was a 13 yr. old boy; a budding ornithologist whose name was Kenneth Kaufman!


12/26/65     Christmas count by 24 WAS members logged 67 species and more than 14,000 birds.


01/66          Arch O'Bryant, in his Bystander column, described his trip to the “Stedman Chaplin Wildlife Refuge” southeast of Geuda Springs where Mrs. Chaplin demonstrated hummingbirds eating out of her hand.


05/09/66     A “Second Annual Big Day in May” involved 18 birders in a 24-hour census over a 50 mile radius which included sites as distant as McPherson and Ark City.  154 species were tallied with Kirk Downing again counting 118 while Ken Slaughter’s Cerulean Warbler won the rarest “Whooper” award.


10/23/66     WAS members were alerted by a postcard from Dan Kilby, our “Zoo liaison rep.” That we should work for passage of the important bond issue on the new Metropolitan Zoo.


12/27/66     25 WAS members cited a recent “dry spell” as responsible for the low species count on the Christmas bird count - 64 species and 6000 individuals.


12/30/67     Christmas count by 20 members during a light snow produced 60 species.  3163 Horned Larks and 612 Lapland Longspurs were of much greater interest than the more numerous starlings and house sparrows.


04/09/68     Roger Tory Peterson returned after ten years to present his film on the fabled “Galapagos - Wild Eden.”


12/29/68     Christmas Count was reported in a full page Sunday Eagle article that included photos of several Auduboners in action with binoculars and notepads.  A record number of 82 species was identified.  Max Thompson introduced the southwest crew to the sandpits adjacent to interstate 235 that revealed several less common ducks.


12/22/69     “Waterfowl Count Soars in Kansas” Headline reports the Christmas Count.  80 species were tallied with 12 ducks among them.


04/18/70     Field trip to Black Mesa in Oklahoma panhandle.  42 members and friends identified 102 species, many of them peculiar to that particular area, despite driving rains.


09/01/70     Fifteenth Season for WAS Screen Tours to be unique in that the full five film schedule will be shown at both West and Southeast High School auditoriums on successive nights.


12/26/70     Christmas Count on a clear cold day logged 82 species with the 15 combined numbers of ducks and geese contributing to the total.  A golden eagle was also seen.


01/71           Larry Gray wrote as ‘guest editor’ that Geneva Kinkade’s husband, Roy had died 12/28/70 and that Geneva was in the hospital.  This issue also contained an article by Kenn Kaufman reporting his recent impressions from a visit to southern Arizona.


03/71          Editor Gray in an editorial stressed the need for more attention by WAS to conservation as a major thrust.


05/71          Gray initiates a new volume titled “THIRD WAVE” as the bimonthly Voice of WAS “Concerned about the Wise Use of Our Natural Resources.” He introduces his assistants on the newsletter staff as Jeff Cox, Kenn Kaufman, and Craig Hultman.


02/15/71      Incorporation of WAS as 501 (c) (3) non/profit becomes official.        


09/71          “Roving Reporter” Kenn Kaufman in Third Wave is featured in Article headed  “Kaufmania: The Field Guides Revisited”.  He suggests Wichita Auduboners recommend Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds of Texas to beginning birders who ask for advice.


05/72          4th Annual “Horizon Weekend” near Ark City with 69 in attendance.


06/19/72     WAS featured in 30 minute program on KPTS (Wichita’s only public TV station). Dee Divinia, Marjorie Marshall, Louise Wherry, and Ralph Wiley represented us.


07/72          The “bimonthly voice” reports the May election of officers for the coming year:  Mike Lesan, President; Macy Lewis, V.Pres.; Jenny Prather, Secretary; Carol Slaughter, Treasurer.  Board of Directors: Pearlanna Briggs, John Prather, Dan Kilby, Larry Gray, and Margaret Selfridge.  The issue also reported the banning of DDT by the Environmental Protection Agency effective at the end of the year.


03/72          “WICHITA AUDUBON”, a new name, was introduced in a first time printed format as the bimonthly voice of WAS.  Its content this issue featured E. Raymond Hall of Kansas University who would speak at the April meeting in support of a “Tallgrass Prairie National Park.”                        


10/72          Final issue of the ‘Voice’ for the year featured a long article by editor Gray regarding the McClellan/Kerr Ark River Navigation System.  He raised the question whether channeling the river for ship travel might have “disastrous” effects on the environment.


12/20/72     Fifteen birders on an icy cold day netted only a disappointing 67 species on the annual Christmas Count. Wally Champeny was compiler.


05/73          Election meeting—New Officers:  Don Vannoy, President; Walter Broderson, V. President; Frieda Jorgensen, Sec.; Albert Briggs, Treas.


07/73          Newsletter headline—“The Nature Center: Within Our Reach At Last”.  Option to buy signed.  Cost $50,000 with $12,000 down payment, balance over 10 years at 6%.  Made possible because of Chaplin generosity and Geneva Kinkade bequest of $17,000.


08/05/73     Eagle article in Sports section re attacks by Mississippi Kites on golfers at McDonald Park.


10/25/73     Warranty Deed for Chaplin farm of 230 acres to be transferred to WAS for $50,000.  Signed by C. Stedman Chaplin and Hazel Chaplin, his wife.


10/73          Newsletter announcement by Louise Wherry, Speaker’s bureau chairperson, that a number of programs are  available to Scouts, Campfire groups, classrooms and clubs.


10/73          Death comes at age 84 to our oldest member, Geneva Kinkade, whose pioneering role as Secretary of Audubon Society of Kansas dated back to the thirties.  She continued active birding including field trips into her late seventies.


01/74          Word came that former WAS member Kenn Kaufman had been top AOU birder for 1973 with 671 species.


03/74          Board of Directors gives official name of Chaplin Nature Center to the newly acquired property.  Seeks help from National in coming up with a plan for its development.


05/03/74     WAS hosts the 2nd West Central Region Audubon Conference with headquarters at Beechcraft Activities Center.  Field trips to the Flint Hills, Ark Valley (Camp Horizon and Chaplin NC), and Cheyenne Bottoms on the agenda.


06/14/74     Louise Watson, early treasurer of WAS, died at age 87.


10/74          Ruth Broderson began editorship of the Newsletter .  Louise Wherry opened season with her program, ‘Mysteries of Migration.’


10/74          19th Season of Wildlife Films to be presented at West High only.


12/14/74      Christmas Count in overcast windy weather netted 73 species.  Those in southwest quadrant were no longer greeted at the Simon Swanson farm just west of Maize Road on Central by the patriarch whose journal we had signed yearly before birding the Cowskin there.  Daughter Kjersti told of his death in July.  our identification of the threatened Peregrine there was the best bird of the day.


03/75          WAS revised its Constitution and Bylaws.  New version made V. Pres. responsible for programs, and gave each Board member a specific job assigment.  Presidential term was 2 years, all other officers elected for one year term only.


04/75          Ralph Wiley, chairman of Chaplin Nature Center committee, appointed sub-chairs for each to form own committee for the following activities: Construction, finance, education, resource development, publicity, and trails.


05/75          Offices filled at annual election were: President, Louis Bussjaeger; Vice/president Max Shults; Secretary, Sue Jehle; Treasurer, Albert Briggs.


06/75          Death of Stedman Chaplin at 76.  WAS members were pallbearers at the funeral and burial in Arkansas City.


10/75          WAS participated in formation of the Kansas Audubon Council, to be composed of the several local and regional Audubon chapters in the state.


10/75          First Fall Field Day at Chaplin Nature Center.  82 persons enjoyed a “beautiful day.”


01/03/76     First Christmas Count over a 15 mile diameter centered in Ark City’s Newman Park with compilation at Chaplin Nature Center.


Early 76      Colorful brochure introducing Chaplin Nature Center “under development” by WAS was mailed to prospective donors.  It included a location map which pointed out several routes for a visit there.


05/76          Bruce F. Dietler was elected Vice President and program chairman in the annual election.  All other officers continued in their previous positions.


12/18/76      WAS Christmas Count by 30 birders yielded only 63 species, “probably an all time low”, said President Louis Bussjaeger, who blamed unseasonable warmth.


01/77          President Bussjaeger calls for WAS to “broaden its base in regard to conservation action”, suggests taking a position on certain current environmental proposals, Naming specifically the coal gasification/coal slurry pipeline project.


06/77          New President David Zeh leads a WAS field trip to KGE Wolf Creek power plant near Burlington.


09/77          WAS Board of Directors vote to oppose proposed encroachment on Oak Park by an adjacent swimming pool, parking lot and boat house in North Riverside Park.


10/77          Cattle Egrets reported in Wichita proper for the first time.


09/78          Ruth Broderson retires as Newsletter editor after four years, but continues to serve as Vice/President and program chair.  Carolee Bussjaeger is the new editor.


04/23-25/79         “Texas Birding Spectacular” led by Bev Hodges a “huge success”—24 participants totaled trip list of 215 species that included 31 warblers.


05/79          Annual election of officers:  Ruth Broderson, President; Ralph Wiley, V. President; Mary Manlove, Secretary, Margaret Selfridge, Treasurer.


08/04/79     Death of Marjorie Marshall who had served for ten years as the local representative for Audubon Wildlife Films before her retirement in 1975.


10/79          Louis Bussjaeger designated Conservation Educator of the Year by the Kansas Wildlife Foundation.


09/80          Gerald J. Wiens accepts the position of naturalist for CNC and will begin living there when the residence becomes available early in 1981.


10/80          Formal letter to the membership signed by Ruth Broderson, President and John Wherry, Chairman of Chaplin Nature Center committee announces the hiring of a full-time Naturalist “to develop, promote, and direct the educational activities of the Chaplin Nature Center.”  Financial support necessary to fund this new commitment is solicited with designation of specific categories for gifts that will be income tax deductible.


09/80          Field Activities schedule lists opening of CNC for Educational Programs on Saturdays—three in the fall, three in spring at monthly intervals.


05/81          Annual election of officers:  President, Bob Gress; V. Pres., Renee Baade; Secretary, Mary Butel; Treasurer, Margaret Selfridge; Editor, Patricia Hudson.


07/81          Monthly nature programs on Saturdays beginning in July to be led by naturalist Gerald Wiens.


10/81           Over 1500 visitors registered at CNC during the year.


10/82          Twentysixth season of Audubon Wildlife Films began, as had the first in 1956, with presenter Fran Wm. Hall, who returned for his fifth visit to Wichita with a film on New Zealand.


12/18/82      Annual Christmas Count remarkable for the huge number of blackbirds—755,000 redwings and 250,000 brown-headed cowbirds.


01/83          Kingfisher Pond renovation was completed with major funding from Chickadee Checkoff Nongame Wildlife Fund and over 700 hours of labor from many WAS volunteers.


04/83          A second Texas Birding Spectacular with trip to Texas East Coast by 38 WAS members who compile 281 species for the trip.


05/83          Annual election:  John Wherry, President; Marian Rakestraw, V. Pres.; Ruth Hodges, Secretary; Don Ferguson, Treasurer.


08/83          WAS Meadowlark “logo” designed by Jos. Dimattia, brother of Renee Baade, becoming the symbol of WAS.


07/84          Field trip to the largest heron rookery in Kansas near 58th St. and South Broadway in Wichita.  Estimates were of 1,600 nests and over 7,000 individual birds.


09/84          Conference held regarding the threat to Cheyenne Bottoms by loss of its primary source of water, the Arkansas River that was dry.


05/85          Annual election:  Rick Goodrick, President; Joe Schaefer, V. Pres.; Kathy Eldridge, Secretary; Hal Cumberland, Treasurer.


10/85          Initiation of Development Committee with responsibility for fund raising.


01/86          Board of Directors questions desirability of continuing the Audubon Wildlife Films in view of decreasing attendance attributed to availability of nature films on TV.


07/86          Unanimous vote of Board to oppose sandhill crane hunting season as proposed by Kansas Fish and Game staff.


10/86          Robert C. Waltner is new Editor of Wichita Audubon newsletter.


05/87          Annual election:  Jay Newton, President; Jim Marlett, V. Pres.; Sandra Tholen, Secretary; Judy Naylor, Treasurer.                          


07/87          Newsletter reports recent deaths of Hazel Chaplin, Ruth Broderson, and Dean Love.


09/87          “Birder’s Lunch” started first Tuesday of each month at Brown’s Grill, to be continued later at Spear’s in Town West.


05/88          Annual election:  Phil Thomas, V. Pres. and program chair. Others as before.


07/88          Special issue of the Wichita Audubon newsletter announces initiation of campaign for new interpretive building at Chaplin Nature Center.


10/88          Marcia Newton the new editor of Wichita Audubon Newsletter.


11/88           President Jay Newton appoints a CNC Building Committee with Dan Kilby, Chairman.


01/89          Building fund for CNC nears 50% of its $400,000 goal.  Development Committee recommends go-ahead to board for construction of interpretive building.


02/89          Regional office of National Audubon Society announces option to purchase Z Bar Ranch with purpose of creating Flint Hills National Monument.


03/89          WAS Board of Directors authorizes purchase of a pre/cut log structure for the new Education Building at Chaplin Nature Center.


05/89          Annual election of officers:  Phil Thomas, President; Bill Langley, V. Pres.; Sandra Tholen, Secretary; Don Ferguson, Treasurer.


07/89          Gerald Wiens, Rex Herndon and two Ark City teachers begin erection of the new log-construction Education Building at CNC.


09/30/89     Grand Opening (Dedication) of the Education and Interpretive Center building.  220 visitors signed guest book at CNC.


10/89          Carol Soule assumes editorship of Newsletter.


10/89          Wally Champeny, who hosts the yearly WAC  field trip at his Oxford Mill, is featured in 3rd issue of Kansas Magazine.


04/90          Extended field trip to Beaver’s Bend State Park, OK.  50 birders record 185 species.  Red-cockaded Woodpecker the best find.


05/90          Three separate birding groups in the Bird-a-thon reported 164 species, and obtained pledges of $1813.


12/90          Mary Wiley died after a bout with cancer.  She and husband Ralph had pioneered the annual Camp Horizon weekend and led many of the yearly extended birding trips.


04/91          39 WAS members and friends enjoyed extended field trip led by Kenn Kaufman to the King Ranch vicinity of Texas.  198 species were identified in two days.


05/91          Bill Langley assumes Presidency of WAS in annual election.                            .


10/91           Annual CNC report documents busiest year with progress toward completion of Visitors Center.  The Donor Recognition tree was installed and the natural habitat display utilizing nest and egg collection was constructed.


01/92          Pete Janzen calls for volunteers to participate in the 5 year Kansas Breeding Bird Atlas project.


09/92          New Editor of Wichita Audubon Newsletter is Pat Beckemeyer.


10/92          First Bird Seminar and Seed Sale at Civitan Community House at 901 Porter.  Another is scheduled for February 1993.


10/92          Plea by Editor Beckemeyer to “take Oak Park back!”


05/93          Annual election:  Carol Cumberland, President; Alan Maccarone, V. Pres.; Don Vannoy, Treasurer; Cathy Clausen, Secretary.


07/01/93     Newly revised by-laws of Wichita Audubon Society, Inc. went into effect.


10/93          Fall birdseed sale moved to Farmer’s Art Market.


10/93          31 acre tract of land adjacent to CNC property including sand bar and river bottom donated as a memorial to Dick Metz by his wife and family.


11/93           President Cumberland reminds that WAS and NAS co-sponsor 34 classrooms in south central Kansas in provision of the environmental/nature newspaper of Audubon Adventures program for children in grades 3 to 6.


01/94          Board of Directors establishes the annual Meritorious Service Award with its purpose “to acknowledge and thank an outstanding chapter activist who has sustained a level of activity beyond that of the average chapter member.”


02/94          Death of Pearlanna Briggs who shared charter membership as well as presidency of the Society with her husband, Albert.


05/94          New officers elected are Gordon Stockemer, Treasurer and Earlene Carter, Secretary.


05/94          John Wherry is recipient of the first Meritorious Service Award.


0794           Ground breaking ceremony for new Great Plains Nature Center hosted by former WAS President and current GPNC Director Bob Gress.


07/94          First issue of Volume 27 of Wichita Audubon newsletter published by new editor Patty Marlett, announces that the enthusiastic efforts of Nicole and Jim Ryan in manning the sales table at meetings have earned $5300 for WAS in the past year,


08/94          Headline “Spectacular Arizona” in newsletter reports the extended field trip of 5 days in southeast area of that state with 35 WAS participants,


10/94          40th Anniversary Auction Fundraiser with Joseph Collins, Curator of KU Museum Of Natural History, as auctioneer.  Over $5,000 raised on this occasion.


03/95          30 WAS members update the five year plan with special attention to nature education at Chaplin Nature Center.


05/95          Dave Rintoul begins his regular newsletter column, “Birding in Kansas.”  He is Editor of Manhattan’s Northern Flint Hills Audubon Society, and a biology Professor at Kansas State University.


04/95          Death of Ralph Wiley, charter member, early president, and perennial leader who conceived and organized the Camp Horizon family weekends and many extended field trips.  A posthumous award for meritorious service was announced in May.


05/95          Annual election:  Patty Marlett, President; Brian Loflin, V. Pres.; Marsha Ebaugh, Secretary; Gordon Stockemer, Treasurer.  Meritorious Service Award to energetic long time member Geula McDonald.


06/95          Death of Bev Hodges, veteran member whose service as an officer, field trip leader, Chairman of Wildlife films, and persistent fundraiser was unmatched.


01/96          Roberta Curtis appointed V. President and program chair to replace departing Brian Loflin.


03/96          Pete Janzen’s 14 “Hot Spots” for birding in Sedgwick County featured in newsletter.


05/96          Annual election:  Nicole Ryan, V. Pres.; Don Clemence, Treasurer.


07/96          Nathan McDonald recipient of Meritorious Service Award at Chisholm Creek Park picnic.


07/96          Sale of 600 Wichita Audubon Society cookbooks prepared by committee of members and headed by chairman, Louise Wherry, began and eventually raised over $4,000 to fund the annual operating budget.


09/96          First regular meeting of the Society in the auditorium of the Great Plains Nature Center—a move from recent meetings at Botanica.


10/96          John Wherry retires after many years delivering birdseed “to the door” on behalf of WAS. 


05/97          Annual election:  Nicole Ryan, President; Carol Fiore, V. Pres.; Marsha Ebaugh, Secretary; Don Clemence, Treasurer.  Kenn Kaufman returned as speaker for the meeting.


06/97          Departure of Gerald Wiens, first CNC naturalist whose 16 years of service resulted in a magnificent signed system of trails, visitors center, and an educational program which “touched thousands of people.”


07/97          Meritorious Service Award given to Louise Wherry at annual picnic.


08/97          Our new naturalist, Shawn Silliman, comes to Chaplin Nature Center from Indianapolis to begin his residence there.


02/17/98     Huge two-night production at Scottish Rite Temple of “live portrayal of John James Audubon” by San Francisco actor David Giesen.  Generous support for the fund raising effort by a number of patrons, sponsors, and the Forrest C. Laettner Foundation along with concerted enthusiastic efforts by officers and members allowed WAS to reach its stated goal of $20,000 for the occasion.


04/98          29 Auduboners visited Concan in the Texas Hill country to chase down Golden-cheeked Warblers and Black-capped Vireos.  The group, led by Sandra Tholen, observed 150 species.


05/98          Meritorious Service Award to Don Vannoy.


05/98          Resignation of Nicole Ryan and husband Jim from their offices.


07/98          New officers beginning July term: Jay Newton, President; Sharon Gregory, Secretary; Sandra Tholen, Treasurer.  Carol Fiore continued as V. Pres. and Program Chair.


07/98          Tyler Hicks, “boy wonder birder,” was enabled to attend Camp Chiricahua in Arizona with support from WAS members.  His full report of the 12 day trip filled much of the October newsletter.


12/98          Archie, the Bald Eagle, resident at CNC for 15 years, succumbed to bacterial and fungal infection despite donations up to $800 by Ark City schoolchildren for veterinary care.


01/99          Bill Browning, President of Kansas Audubon Council, reports the employment of Ron Klataske to serve as Director of Audubon in Kansas.  He encourages financial support for its programs by all local chapters in the state to be sent to Treasurer Carol Cumberland in Wichita.


04/99          22 people traveled to Beavers Bend State Park in Oklahoma on an extended field trip.  Led by Patty Marlett, a close look at a Swainson’s Warbler delighted everyone.


05/99          Annual election:  Carol Cumberland returns as President;  V. Pres., Marsha Ebaugh; Julia Hoppes, Secretary; Sandra Tholen, Treasurer.  Meritorious Service Award to Bob Gress.


08/99          Kansas Audubon Council officially becomes Audubon of Kansas with new Constitution and By-laws.  Patty Marlett is Secretary, Carol Cumberland, Treasurer. 


03/00          First Backyard Birding field trip with open houses hosted by five member families who demonstrated their bird feeding activities. 


05/00          Annual election:  V. Pres. Kevin Groeneweg; Julia Hoppes and Sandra Tholen continued as Secretary and Treasurer.  Meritorious Service Award to Dan Kilby.


05/00          First Twilight Dinner on the beach at Chaplin Nature Center.


08/29/00     At last, GRAND OPENING of the Great Plains Nature Center with its Koch Habitat Hall.


01/01           Lowell Wilder, our member videographer, is speaker for the 4th consecutive year at the regular January program.


04/01          Wichita Audubon phone line, in less regular use than in former years, is discontinued.


05/01          Annual election:  Patty Marlett returns for a second term as President; Julia Hoppes, Secretary; Kevin Groeneweg as V. Pres. and Duane DeLong as Treasurer.  Recipient of the Meritorious Service Award is Rex Herndon.


08/01          Death of Mike Lesan, past President, Board member, and perennial leader of field trips.


09/01          Society members meet with city architects to discuss proposed changes for Oak Park.


01/31/02      Extensive ice storm damage at Chaplin Nature Center.  Much volunteer work in cleanup was necessary though the spring.


04/02          The extended field trip to Big Bend NP in Texas was attended by 15 members.  Those who hiked up the Boot Canyon trail were rewarded for their efforts with great looks at the Colima Warbler.


05/02          Twilight dinner highlight a reenactment portrayal of Meriwether Lewis by former President Phil Thomas.


05/02          Annual election:  Sharon Bolin elected Secretary.  Recipient of Meritorious Sevice Award is Wally Champeny.


03/03          Newsletter headline “CNC Wetlands Restoration” tells of Kingfisher Pond being replenished by addition of a windmill for the well.


05/03          Annual election:  Kevin Groeneweg President; Carol Cumberland, V. Pres. and Program Chair; Sharon Bolin, Duane DeLong remain Secretary and Treasurer.  Patty Marlett, who has been newsletter editor for nine years, is the recipient of the Meritorious Service Award.


11/03           Newsletter contains insert by “Take Back Audubon”, a grass roots organization protesting NAS policy that reduces dues shared with chapters thereby forcing significant cutbacks in their activities.  Members are advised to vote in NAS election of Board of Directors for candidates truly representing interests of local chapters.


04/04          The extended field trip was a grouse tour of Colorado.  11 hardy participants traveled in rented vans and observed all target species, including the highlight of seeing several White-tailed Ptarmigan on Guanella Pass.


05/04          Carol Cumberland recipient of Meritorious Service Award, and in the annual election was re-elected V. Pres and Program Chair.  Sandra Tholen was elected again as Treasurer and newly elected Secretary was Nancy Beard.


06/04          A second extended field trip was led by Patty Marlett to the Niobrara in Nebraska and the Hutton Ranch, owned by Audubon of Kansas.  Activities included canoeing and a steak dinner at the ranch.  A ranch tour featured numerous Bobolinks and several Long-billed Curlews.


09/24/04     Shawn Silliman conducts the first ever Bioblitz at CNC.  This 24 hour cataloging of biodiversity at CNC resulting in the identification of over 547 species.  Of the 275 species of plants, 23 were county records and one was a state record.  74 species of birds, 40 species of lichens, 13 species of herps, 7 species of mammals, 20 species of fish and 164 species of invertebrates were also identified by a number of participants.


09/25/04     The year-long 50th anniversary celebration culminated with a banquet at the Wichita Art Museum featuring a visit by Kenn Kaufmann.  Over 80 members reminisced together, along with pictures and presentations by charter members Walker Butin and Dan Kilby.  The weekend activities also included a field trip with Kenn.