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updated: 3/13/2019 7:34 AM

The Chicago Audubon Environmental Awards Banquet and Annual Meeting will take place March 23, 2019, at the White Eagle Events & Convention Center, Niles

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Chicago Audubon Society

On March 23, Chicago Audubon will honor local conservation heroes - individuals who have dedicated themselves to help mend the earth and transform places, large and small, into safe havens for migratory birds and wildlife. They work in woodlands, meadows, wetlands, and rivers - both in Chicago and in the suburbs. These individuals will be honored at Chicago Audubon's biennial Awards Banquet and Program to be held at the White Eagle Events & Convention Center at 6539 North Milwaukee Avenue, Niles, Illinois on March 23. The keynote speaker will be awardee Jerome McDonnell of WBEZ's Worldview, who will talk about "How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Birds." The evening will begin with Cash Bar at 5:00 p.m. and family-style dinner at 6:00 p.m., followed by the Awards presentation and keynote. Registration for the dinner or just the awards presentation and keynote is available at

The Award categories and Awardees are:

The Craig Stettner Award for Environmental Education: Dr. Sylvia Jenkins, President, Moraine Valley Community College (Palos Hills)

Excellence in Environmental Reporting -- Broadcast: Jerome McDonnell, WBEZ's Worldview (Palatine)

Protector of the Environment -- Political Advocacy: Friends of the Forest Preserve (Cook County)

Protector of the Environment -- Single Act, Individual: Jerry Goldner, Chicago Audubon's Photo Contest, Facebook group and page administrator (Evanston)

Protectors of the Environment -- Avocation: Jerry Herst and Julie Dorfman, Stewards, Clark Street Beach Bird Sanctuary, Evanston; Ted Jindrich and Alycia Kluenenberg, Stewards, Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, Chicago (Evanston)

Protector of the Environment -- Vocation: Howard A. Learner, Environmental Law and Policy Center (Chicago)

Protector of the Environment -- Group: Orland Grasslands Stewards and Volunteers (Orland Park)

First Friend of Chicago Audubon: Pat Durkin, Wooded Island/Paul H. Douglas Nature Sanctuary Bird Walks (Chicago)

Service to Chicago Area Birders: Greg Neise, Web Developer, American Birding Association; Administrator, Illinois Facebook Birding Groups; Illinois Birder's Forum founder (Berwyn)

Young Environmentalist: Oliver Burrus, Whimbrel Birders Club (Carpentersville)

(See addendum on following page for description of individual accomplishments.)

Founded in 1971, the vision of the Chicago Audubon Society is that all communities in our region understand, value, and protect birds, other wildlife and habitat. Chicago Audubon Society connects people with birds and nature through educational programming, field trips, advocacy, stewardship and research.