FOR’s Annual Member Meeting is an important event each year. Not only is it a time to celebrate accomplishments, honor volunteers and partners, and gather with other members, it is a business meeting. The slate of new board members and officers are voted in, and the board members who have reached the end of their term are celebrated. It is a “changing of the guards”. If there are any items that require a vote by the membership, such as a change to the bylaws, that is also voted on.
Over the years, as FOR has grown, so has attendance to our Annual Member Meeting. “Historically we have hosted one Annual Members Meeting at our first office as an organization in Fredericksburg. Now we have three offices and FOR’s member and volunteer base has sprawled and strengthened immensely throughout the past couple years. This year we realized it was time to bring the celebration to our members across the watershed!”
Our Middle Rappahannock Annual Meeting kicked off our Annual Member series on May 17th at our Nature Preserve in Fredericksburg. Here we had the opportunity to do the usual voting of new board members and officers, thank partners, supporters and volunteers, and enjoy a delicious potluck. The highlight of the evening was Kate Sutherland, a sea birder who specializes in studying and protecting the Bermuda Petrel (Cahow).Kate’s presentation was a perfect reminder that no matter where in the world you are, caring for the water is essential to life on earth. While Bermuda is not in the Rappahannock’s watershed, we loved being able to share yet another reason why caring for water (regardless of location) is essential to life on earth.
The Lower Rappahannock event took place at Urbana Seafood and Raw Bar in Urbanna, Virginia with some fantastic company. It was a grand gathering of partners and supporters where we had the opportunity to highlight two oyster restoration initiatives – Restore Urbanna Creek and Clean Carters Creek, and many of the people who work on those projects were present to celebrate with us! We honored Shores and Ruark for their support in the Restore Urbanna Creek project.
The Upper Rappahannock event took place at Eldon Farms in Rappahannock County. We had an amazingly unexpected outpouring of loving members and supporters who joined us on the farm hills! With over 60 partners, members and volunteers celebrating with us, we even ran out of food! A wonderful problem to have with some great people. Here we were able to award some volunteers and partners who have gone above and beyond to support our mission and protect our watershed.
We hope to continue this new tradition of celebrating our members across the watershed, so look for more information about the event near you this spring!
Written by Daria Christian, Executive Director (Dec. 1, 2023)