An open letter to National Audubon

Juanita Roushdy is the president of the Friends of Hog Island. David Yarnold is president and CEO of National Audubon.

Dear David,

Since my last e-mail to you on September 10, 2010, many things have happened regarding Hog Island in Maine.  I personally still have faith in National Audubon that it will defer it’s decision to transfer ownership to Camp Kieve for at least 2 years. Doing so will give the Friends of Hog Island and the new programming under Project Puffin and Steve Kress time to prove that  Hog Island can truly be financially successful with the right mix — management, volunteers, programs.

The program model in 2010 was in the black, and, because of high ratings, high early response, and teacher programs, 2011 is promising to be even more financially successful. The new partnership formed with Camp Kieve could continue without leasing or turning over ownership. The new partnership with Road Scholar is proving successful and providing another demographic .

Since September 10, 2010, the Friends of Hog Island has incorporated, filed for 501(c)(3) status, adopted by-laws, formed a board with such members as Kenn Kaufman, Walt Pomeroy, and Scott Weidensaul, and revamped its website. It has in hand, without asking, donations in the five figures; it has a fundraising package ready to be mailed; and is working on a fundraising plan for the 75th anniversary and beyond, including an endowment. It is reconnecting and building its volunteer base; and most important, it has located missing camper lists for the past 20 years and is currently putting that information into electronic format — another 5,000 plus names.

The Friends of Hog Island believes in openness and transparency and to that end has kept its website updated with any discussion about Hog Island. Please browse through it to learn about the board, the history, and past campers’ unsolicited testimonies.

There is a large grass-roots support for the Audubon Camp at Hog Island. Grass-roots support is what National Audubon was built on. It was the reason that Toyota chose, out of all the excellent conservation groups, Audubon for its Together Green program. None had as broad-based grass-roots support as Audubon.

I would be happy to come to New York and meet with you at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Juanita

“Hog Island takes hold of you. There are many beautiful places, but this one will change your life” – Scott Weidensaul

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