Local group dedicated to the appreciation of nature
Early Saturday mornings, as the sun slowly rises, a small group of nature enthusiasts convene on predetermined pieces of land in search of its natural assets. This moment could easily be considered the best time of day, although missed by many, as the rest of the world hits snooze or begrudgingly climbs out of bed on the way to work.
Together, those enthusiasts make up the Wichita Audubon Society, established in the Wichita area in 1954 with 15 members. Currently, the WAS serves nearly 800 members with monthly meetings, activities, fieldtrips and newsletters printed eight times per year.
"Locally our active members number more around 100 people," says Kevin Groeneweg, President of the WAS. "Many people join the National Audubon Society because members receive Audubon Magazine. Those are really more just recreational magazine subscribers than active members."
Fieldtrips for both members and nonmembers are regularly scheduled both locally and nationally. Local fieldtrips usually have a leader that escorts a group to native territories within 20 miles of Wichita to observe and identify different species of birds.
"Our season runs roughly from September through May," Groeneweg says. "That's when we have the most opportunities to see and document specific birds we are looking for."
Extended fieldtrips give members a chance to see unfamiliar territory and wildlife over a period of several days throughout the country. Previous trips included Arizona in 2006 and Colorado in 2007.