Kane County Audubon History



In 1966 Mrs. Betty Dralle asked Illinois Audubon Society Extension Director Darlene Fisk how to start a local chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society.


On August 27, 1966, 18 people gathered at Kay Fohrmanís home to organize an Illinois Audubon Society chapter. (Note: Kane County Audubon has always been a chapter of I.A.S. )


The first field trip on September 24, 1966 was to McGraw Wildlife Refuge and the leader was Dr. George Burger.


Kane County Audubon became the third chapter of the I.A.S. on November 2, 1966.


On November 12, 1966, Chuck Wescott led a trip to Crabtree Lake and the surprise bird was an American Golden Eagle.


The first officers were: Dr. Charles Jarvis, president, Evelyn Burnidge, V.P., Helen Ried, secretary, Carol Redeker, treasurer.


Succeeding presidents were Evelyn Burnidge, Betty Muirhead, Lee Cole, Betty Dralle, and George Biang. More recent  presidents have been Bob Montgomery, Jack Pomatto, John Tilton, Bob Horlock, Roger Hotham, Chris Cudworth and our current president Bob Andrini.


Early meetings were held in homes and at Gilford School in Elgin. Later on, the meetings moved to the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin. In the late 80ís or early 90ís meetings were held at the Kane County Chronicle building on Randall Road in Geneva. On January 9, 2002, the meetings were moved to the orientation barn at Peck Farm in Geneva.


 On March 9, 2011, the chapter began holding its monthly membership meetings in the new Hickory Knolls Discovery Center at James O. Breen Community Park in St. Charles.


Kane County Audubon members participate in many educational, research and citizen scientist projects such as the annual Illinois Spring Bird Count, which has been continuous for 35  years. Kane County Audubon puts 50 to 60 people in the field for up to 8 hours per team to count bird species and numbers. We count 140 to 160 species each year. The total number of species seen during the 33 years of counting is 240. This information is used by various agencies to observe changes in migration and populations.


As an indication that Kane County Audubon is a very active organization, Illinois Audubon Society has reported that KCA is the fastest growing chapter in the state.


(The preceding information was provided by Jerry Hope, Kane County Audubon historian)


This page last updated Tuesday February 15, 2011.

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