Morgan County Audubon Society Celebrating Illinois Audubon Society 125th Anniversary With Ridgway Presentations

By Benjamin Cox on October 12, 2022 at 6:16pm

Photo of Robert Ridgway from the 1903 book Bird Lore published by National Committee of the Audubon Societies of America

The Morgan County Audubon Society will return to in-person meetings this week just in time to help celebrate the Illinois Audubon Society’s 125th Anniversary.

Morgan County Audubon Society member, Allen Yow says the monthly meetings are open to the public: “October 14th will be our first meeting for the 2022-2023 season. We meet the second Friday of the month between October and April. We meet at the First Presbyterian Church on West College Avenue here in Jacksonville. The meetings start at 7PM, and they are open to everyone free of charge. Newcomers and old members are always welcome.”

The first meeting will be marked by a special program with performer, author, and storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis, who will portray Illinois native, and the premier 19th Century ornithologist Robert Ridgway. Ellis will give a public performance at 7PM on Friday at the First Presbyterian Church. Yow says the true treat will be for programs for students at Jacksonville Middle School throughout the day: “We have worked with Principal [Celeste] Lashmett and have organized three presentations of Robert Ridgway. Brian Ellis will speak to three different classes on October 14th and provide study materials for the classroom. We are really excited about being able to bring someone of Mr. Ellis’ stature and expertise. We believe he really will capture the essence of the man, Robert Ridgway.”

Yow hopes that it will spur interest in young people to become citizen-scientists of their own accord. Yow hopes to have the interest carry over to the Young Explorers Club’s first meeting in December.