It’s not any less than that, it has to be these like-minds coming together to make change, and to flex our muscles, and to speak so that we can become better informed about the issues, so that we can vote better, so that we can send the message out to the world about what we believe in and - that’s what we can do together to be viable going into the future. ~ Wendy Weirich, Cleveland Metroparks
Wendy Weirich, Director of Outdoor Experiences, Cleveland Metroparks, Tim Colborn, Ohio Ornithological Society & Member, Western Cuyahoga Audubon, and Tom Romito, Member, Western Cuyahoga Audubon
Tom Romito: Hello viewing audience, I’m Tom Romito of Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society. I’m sitting here at the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve with Wendy Weirich, of the Cleveland Metroparks, and WCAS Member, Tim Colborn. Welcome to this short interview, Wendy and Tim.
I’d like to ask you two questions, and the first one is, “What value would you say Western Cuyahoga Audubon has provided to this part of Ohio in the past?”
Tim Colborn: Well, Tom, my thought on that is that WCAS organization has been focused on helping its members understand the value of the natural world and its connection to it. It has provided opportunities for being out in the wild, enjoying wild places and wild things, among them birds and mammals, plants and continues to keep the focus on conserving all of those things for the foreseeable future.
Tom Romito: Tim, could you please give us a couple of examples of those kinds of initiatives.
Tim Colborn: Well, from an education perspective, the WCAS speaker series is every month providing insight and information into some topic related to the natural world. There have been plenty of conservation efforts as well and their support of the natural places in the northeast Ohio area, as well as the breeding birds surveys, Christmas Bird Count, citizen science, that supports the kinds of things that we’re all interested in.
Tom Romito: Thanks. Wendy, from your vantage point, as an executive of the Cleveland Metroparks, how do see what WCAS has added value to the public?
Wendy Weirich: I mean in addition to what Tim has already said, it’s a place where people of like-minds can come together and share their ideas, bring their energies together, create really great products of it, like the Bird Survey, or things that will be perennial.
The results that came out of that breeding bird survey alone, is something we’re going to reap for generations to come. It’s information that’s really important for us to have in order to make decisions, in order to move forward.
I think these like-minds coming together is really powerful and in a world where so many people are connecting via screens, and the Internet, there’s something powerful about humans coming together, being together, and then coming up with these ideas where we can get together and change the world.
Tom Romito: Well, my second question is, going forward we want to give WCAS a reason to continue to exist besides our normal activities of presentations and field trips. So, what value do you think we could add to the public as time goes forward, Tim and Wendy?
Wendy Weirich: I think to build on what we already said, we can do more together than we can apart. We have to be more than just meetings and field trips, we have to have this purpose of saving the planet.
It’s not any less than that, it has to be these like-minds coming together to make change, and to flex our muscles, and to speak so that we can become better informed about the issues, so that we can vote better, so that we can send the message out to the world about what we believe in and - that’s what we can do together to be viable going into the future!
Tom Romito: Thanks so much.
Tim Colborn: I agree with Wendy, I think this sense of community is paramount. And I think that through that we can achieve levels of conservation that we haven’t been able to before.
And it’s only through our collective efforts that we can get there, and a structure like the WCAS and similar organizations can really support that kind of community and those efforts to get us to a point where we are making a difference - going beyond the education and the activities that we all enjoy, but to go to conservation activities that will sustain that enjoyment through the future years to come.
Tom Romito: So! It sounds like our mission, as we go forward, is to help the planet better for birds, wildlife, and the habitat that everybody enjoys.
Well, thank you listening audience, and thank you for listening. We’ll see you on Tuesday, November 6th at Rocky River Nature Center.