Members and Friends – I hope that you are all well and enduring the economic, health and social impacts in your lives. The COVID 19 pandemic continues to permeate all aspects of our lives and it looks like there is no end in sight. The DVOC Council has been working to address the challenges and improve our club’s mission and activities. I wanted to share the updates with you here.
The good news: We are prepared to hold DVOC meetings starting Sept 17th! We will get back to the business of the club followed by a presentation by Jim Wright who will discuss his new book “The Real James Bond” – a true story of identity theft, avian intrigue, and Ian Fleming.
The bad news: The Academy of Natural Sciences is closed to the public so we will not be able to meet in person.
The big news: We will be holding the meeting through our new Zoom account. I personally think this is a great option for the club. Virtual meetings allow us to adhere to social distancing protocols while also allowing more members who cannot normally make it into Center City Philadelphia on a Thursday night to attend.
Holding Virtual Meetings is a big change for the club. It will require us to spend money on a virtual meeting platform, take more effort from the Officers, and require speakers to change their presentations to work virtually. This new virtual meeting experience will also require you to adjust the way that you attend too.
- We will be asking you to register for each meeting through an EventBrite form posted on the website. Each meeting will have a registration link. You must complete the form and “check out” even though the meeting is free (as always) and open to the public. Registration will remain open until 7:15 PM on the night of the meeting.
I understand that this is extra work for you. However, we need to ensure that our Zoom meetings are attended by people who are interested in the club meeting and/or presentation and not attended by cyber criminals or people with another agenda. Our Officers will be scanning the registrations to investigate anything that looks shady.
- Once your registration is complete, you will be sent a Zoom link to use for that meeting.
- A few comments concerning Zoom:
- You do not need to have Zoom installed on your computer for the first meeting. However, when you click the email link provided for the meeting, it will prompt you to download the Zoom software.
- If you already have Zoom on your computer, you can go directly to the program or launch Zoom when prompted via the email link.
- You do not need a webcam to participate in the Zoom meeting. You will not be able to transmit video of yourself but you will continue to be able to listen and speak during the meeting, and view the webcam video of other participants.
- You can also join via phone and listen but will not be able to view the presentation or other participants.
- More information about joining meetings using the various technologies , along with a short tutorial video (about 1 minute): https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-meeting
- Please try to log into Zoom before 7:30 PM so that we can work out any technical issues that you might have.
- To start, all participants will be muted. Should you need to speak, the host will send a message to unmute yourself.
Field trips are an essential part of our club. As Field Trip chair, I have struggled to find an approach that would allow us to run trips that are safe for participants and leaders. But after much debate by DVOC Council, consulting other bird clubs and seeking advice on legal implications, we have concluded to continue to hold off on DVOC sanctioned field trips for now and monitor the situation. We will keep you updated as the situation changes to allow for safe field trips to resume.
Unfortunately, we will not hold our annual banquet this year. Even if pandemic restrictions are lifted, there is not enough time for our Banquet Committee to make all the arrangements required. And frankly, we probably wouldn’t get enough attendance to make the effort worthwhile.
Volume 77 is at the printer now! You should be receiving your copy electronically or in the mail in the near future. Volume 77 will be Matt Halley’s last issue as editor. The club thanks Matt for his service and for getting the publication on track for bi-annual publishing cycle. Holger Pflicke will be taking over as Editor starting with Volume 78. The club welcomes all article submissions and is always looking for people to write obituaries for member who have passed.
The Conservation Committee submitted proposals for funding which were approved by Council. A total of $4500 was set aside to fund the following projects:
- East Falls Signage and Restoration- $4000 funding to support East Falls Development Corporation new green space along the Schuylkill river just above the East Falls Bridge. PA Audubon is also supporting this effort.
- Carpenter’s Woods – $500 to support restoration of native plants.
That’s all for now. I look forward to seeing you all soon – whether through Zoom or out in the field.