Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters (COAC) Schedule June 3, 2018

Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters (COAC) Conference Calls, Workshop, and Field Trips Schedule May-June 3, 2018

The Conservatory Workshop Venue: “About 4,460 square feet of The Conservatory is under glass. Within the building, 4,200 square feet is used for botanical displays and meeting space. The remaining 2,800 square feet is used for instruction, research, and service purposes. A plaza, gardens and outdoor art by a local artist enhances the entrance to The Conservatory.”

This page was updated Tues June 12, 2018 at 10:30 PM. Note: REGISTRATION IS CLOSED AND THIS WORKSHOP HAS BEEN COMPLETED. 

Dear COAC Chapter Reps, Network, and Friends of National Audubon Society,

REGISTER to join us for the Quarterly COAC Workshop  and Natural Area Tours Schedule on Saturday, June 2, 2018 and Sunday, June 3, 2018. The event is hosted by Audubon Miami Valley at Miami Regionals’ Hamilton Conservatory, 1601 University Blvd, Hamilton, Ohio 45011. Audubon chapters and like-minded conservation partners are welcome! 

COAC Workshop and Natural Area Tours June 2018
Links below contain embedded follow up information and media links.


Above: COAC Mission Poster by Mary Anne Romito, WCAS at the COAC Workshop March 2018 hosted by Greater Cleveland Audubon Society in Aurora, Ohio.

Workshop hosts




Above: COAC Group Photo at The Conservatory June 3, 2018 by Rebekah Duquette. Left to right: Mark T. Gilmore, Liz Woedl, Gylaine Gilmore, Thomas Lacerda, Imani Smith, Jackie Augustine, Mickey Simonds, Elizabeth Birch, Penny Borgman, Betsey Merkel, Kathy and Troy Schwable, Brian Grubb, Sherilyn Burns, Linda Williams, and Jim Michael. Not shown: Ned Keller, Rebekah Duquette, Gail Reynolds, Larry Gersbach, Martha Merkel.

Advance Call Schedule 
Conference calls grow COAC social networks between face-to-face workshops. Calls share conversations and build COAC Network relationships and provide a forum for COAC Chapter Rep leadership. To participate, email for call details. Subscribe to Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters (COAC) updates here.
  • ​​​COAC Network Conference Call Thursday, May 17, 2018, 7:00 PM – 8 PM (EDT) — All are welcome. Share ideas for workshop topics and meeting formats. Q & A. Volunteers are needed to assist meeting operations, take meeting notes for the group, organize photos of the workshop, lunch, and field trips.  ​
  • COAC Chapter Representatives Conference Call Tuesday, May 22 & Friday, May 25, 2018, 7:00 PM – 8 PM (EDT) — Chapter Rep forum. Share chapter updates. Review COAC Network strategy updates. COAC Network welcome to audit. ​​
  • COAC Network Conference Call Thursday, May 24, 2018, 7:00 PM – 8 PM (EDT) — All are welcome. Confirm workshop topics, meeting formats, and schedule. Confirm volunteers to facilitate meeting conversation, take meeting notes, collect photos during the workshop, lunch, field trips, and any other tasks as needed. Q & A. 
COAC Workshop & Natural Area Tours, Hamilton, Ohio, Saturday, June 2, 2018 and Sunday, June 3, 2018

  • REGISTER for WORKSHOP, LUNCH, AND NATURAL AREA TOURS  (Lunch registration is closed but brown bag lunches are welcome.)  ​

Schedule Overview of Natural Area Tours (individual tour details below)

  1. Sat June 2, 2018 at 3:00 PM – Fernald Nature Preserve. Meet at Fernald Nature Preserve Visitors Center, 7400 Willey Rd, Hamilton, OH 45013. 
  2. Sun June 3, 2018 at 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM – Salamander Run Preserve. Meet on Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 8:30 AM in Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton, 1 Riverfront Plaza, Hamilton, OH hotel parking lot Map (recommended) or at the Preserve where parking is on site, just inside the driveway. ​​
  3. Sun June 3, 2018 at 4:00 PM (1 hour tour) – Riverside Natural Area, 2451 Fairview Ave, Hamilton, OH 45015. ​Meet at the Conservatory parking lot at 4:00 PM to carpool (recommended), or go directly to the parking lot north of the Hamilton Water Reclamation Facility on Fairview Ave. 
COAC Workshop June 2018
Explore: ​COAC Workshop June 2018 photo album #flickr
Event: Tour of Fernald Nature Preserve Natural Area 
Date & Time: Saturday, June 2, 2018, 3:00 PM
Location: Meet at Fernald Nature Preserve Visitors Center, 7400 Willey Rd, Hamilton, OH 45013 Map
Guides: Jim Michael and Penny Bergman
Register or email to confirm your attendance.

Description: The 1,050-acre Fernald Nature Preserve, managed by the U.S. Department of Energy, is located on the site of a former uranium processing facility that ceased operations in 1989. Comprehensive environmental remediation and ecological restoration of the site was completed in 2006 at a cost of $4.4 billion–one of the largest environmental cleanup operations ever undertaken in U.S. history. The property’s natural features have been restored using native plants and grasses, creating one of the largest man-made wetlands in Ohio. The Preserve features 400 acres of forests, 387 acres of grassland including tallgrass prairie and savanna, and 140 acres of wetland habitat including three lakes. The site’s varied and unique habitats are accessible on a seven-mile network of trails. Over 240 species of birds have been observed, and over 100 different species  have been documented as nesting at the Preserve.
Driving Map | Fernald Nature Preserver Website | eBird Hotspot 

Event: Tour of Natural Area, Salamander Run PreserveMetroParks of Butler County
Date & Time: Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Location: MetroParks of Butler County, Salamander Run Preserve, 4821 Layhigh Road, Hamilton OH 45013 Map (located 20 min from MU Conservatory). Meet on Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 8:30 AM in Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton, 1 Riverfront Plaza, Hamilton, OH hotel parking lot Map (recommended) or at the Preserve where parking is on site, just inside the driveway. 
Guides: Joe Dumyahn, Steve Gordon and Eric Hollins, will give us an informative tour of the property and opportunities to view the Preserve’s diverse flora and fauna.
Register or email to confirm your attendance.

Description: Salamander Run Preserve, located in Morgan Township, is an excellent example of the superb conservation results that are possible through cooperative efforts of concerned organizations and individuals. In 2011, Three Valley Conservation Trust was selected as a subcontractor by the Fernald Trustees to develop conservation easements on eligible lands in the Paddy’s Run drainage. The Preserve, which contains the headwaters of Paddy’s Run Creek, consists of 125 acres, 93 of which are forested. Conservation efforts focus on protecting the land from incompatible surface development, protecting streams and buried aquifers from excessive surface runoff, and further mitigating damage associated with the Fernald processing facility. The Preserve is now a part of, and managed by, Butler MetroParks.
Driving Map | The Conservatory at Miami University Hamilton Website | MetroParks of Butler County | eBird Hotspot

WATCH: Miami University Birding Club by Imani Smith, Alumni Outreach Coordinator for Birders of Miami University, offers an overview of the birding club, it’s recent revival, what activities it is engaged in, and how the group wants to expand its reach beyond campus. Recorded at Miami Regionals’ Hamilton Conservatory, June 3, 2018.
Event: Second Quarterly COAC Workshop
Host: Audubon Miami Valley
Date & Time: Sunday, June 3, 2018 from 11:00am – 4:00 pm
Location: The Conservatory (Botanical Garden),Miami Regionals’ Hamilton, 1601 University Blvd, Hamilton, Ohio 45011. The meeting site is close to I-70, I-75 and I-275. For parking you will enter into the parking lot off University Blvd. Park adjacent to the Phelps Building and walk down the sidewalk to our facility. Accommodation can be made for parking behind the facility for handicap accessibility. ​
​Lunch: catered $10.00 per person. Lunch will be served across the Conservatory patio at Mosler Hall, Jack Rhodes Room, very casual with tables and easy chairs. Lunch is payable on the day of the workshop. Beverages & dessert included.  

Hotel: Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton, 1 Riverfront Plaza, Hamilton, OH 45011 PH: (513) 896-6200  
Driving Map | Conservatory Website | Campus Parking Map | Hotel Website

​Event: Tour of Riverside Natural Area-Hamilton Parks

Date & Time: Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 4:00 (1 hour tour)
Location: Riverside Natural Area, 2451 Fairview Ave, Hamilton, OH 45015. ​(located 7 min (1.4 miles) from MU Conservatory). Meet at the Conservatory parking lot to carpool (recommended), or go directly to the parking lot north of the Hamilton Water Reclamation Facility on Fairview Ave (map detail). 
Guides: Kathy and Troy Schwable and Charlie Saunders
Register or email to confirm your attendance.

Description: Riverside Natural Area is located along the Great Miami River in Hamilton, Ohio. It includes a lagoon formed from an old river channel, a small man-made wetland that backs up against the south side of the lagoon, and approximately 130 acres of prairie. There are mulched trails that wind through the north side of the preserve, an observation deck overlooking the lagoon, and a paved access road that leads into the large prairie. 
Driving Map | Hamilton Parks Conservancy-Riverside Natural Area | Riverside Natural Area Description and Parking at Audubon Society of Ohio | eBird Hotspot

COAC Workshop Details June 3, 2018 ​​

For Workshop Presenters 
Would you like to present at the workshop? Ohio Audubon Chapter representatives, members, or interested participants are invited to present information about how to grow a chapter. Topic suggestions below are from COAC October 2017 Meeting Notes.

  1. How to grow membership
  2. How to recruit volunteers
  3. How to improvement relationships, communications, and interaction
  4. How to improve member involvement
  5. How to ask for help for projects
  6. How to create and complete conservation projects
  7. How to raise funds
  8. Discuss tax requirements
  9. Add your topic here!

Presentation materials should include whenever possible stories, case studies, comparative research, audience metrics and analytics, presentation slides, educational handout materials, and resources. To participate, submit an abstract of a minimum of 150 words and a maximum of 250 words confined to a single paragraph and outline the information you will present in an emailSubmission Deadline: Thur May 24, 2018 at Noon. CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS IS CLOSED. 

Friendly Reminders


  1. Send an email to confirm your participation in the conference calls.
  2. ​REGISTER for WORKSHOP, LUNCH, AND NATURAL AREA TOURS  (Lunch registration is closed but brown bag lunches are welcome.)  

Questions? Contact,

Betsey Merkel
Digital Strategist and Network Coordinator
Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters (COAC)

Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters (COAC) 
The Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters (COAC)supports mission-driven activities that 1) share best practices 2) brainstorm solutions to common problems and 3) develop relationships in workshops and retreats. The Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters Network, or “COAC Network”, is an initiative of the Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters to strengthen conservation education and conservation projects in the State of Ohio. The COAC Network acts entrepreneurially, communicates, seeks collaboration, and in alignment with National Audubon Society strategic investments, builds public-private partnerships to sustain, restore and protect birds and habitat in Ohio. The Network seeks to leverage funding, build environmental conservation capacity, and focus partners and resources toward key ecological issues. ​To continue to support and grow the COAC Network, we have organized a schedule of conference calls and workshops for the foreseeable future to grow connectivity amongst existing and new Ohio Audubon Chapters. Activities are open to Audubon Chapter representatives, members, and interested participants. ​Western Cuyahoga Audubon (WCAS) is hosting COAC web and network communications until COAC tools are operational, sometime within the next several months.

COAC Leadership History
A brief history of COAC leadership: two boards existed in the Fall 2017: 1) a board formed by Audubon representatives who had been inactive over a long period of time (approximately 10 years) and, 2)  a new emergent group of Audubon representatives energized for growth in response to Spring 2017 research results indicating a 50% decline of Ohio Audubon chapter activity since 2007. Invitations were sent to legacy and new people and respondees combined to form COAC leadership.

COAC Leadership DRAFT
May 2018: COAC is shifting from a command-and-control hierarchy that no longer works in technology-driven economies, to open networks.  COAC mission-driven activities that share best practices, brainstorm solutions to common problems, and develop relationships in workshops and retreats empower Audubon chapters to build the capacity they need to leverage the power of the Internet to connect, communicate, and collaborate for conservation projects.

  • Digital Strategist and Network Coordinator: Betsey Merkel
  • COAC Chapter Representatives: are empowered to speak and do on behalf of their chapter board and members, are informed by the larger COAC Network, and as a group employ consensus decision-making.
  • Treasurer: Nancy Howell

    • Tax Advisor: Mary Anne Romito
  • Secretary: open
  • Advisory Network: Tom Romito, Penny O’Connor, Mary Anne Romito, Kurt Miske, Suzanne Aldrich, Tim Colborn
  • COAC Network participants: Audubon Miami Valley, Audubon Society of Greater Cleveland, Audubon Society of Mahoning Valley, Audubon Society of Ohio/Cincinnati, Birders of Miami University, Black River Audubon Society, Blackbrook Audubon Society, Canton Audubon Society, Dayton Audubon Society, Firelands Audubon Society, Greater Akron Audubon Society, Greater Mohican Audubon Society, Tri-Moraine Audubon, Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society
  • COAC BYLAWS 04062002
  • COAC HISTORY 04152002
  • COAC HISTORY as of 1989

​ Subscribe to Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters (COAC) updates here.