By: Bryan Watts
There was a time when The Center was new and Marian was there. Marian was there when The Center was just an idea, a fervent wish to move conservation forward. For more than 30 years, she has been behind the scenes but in the trenches filling whatever role was needed to make this simple idea a reality. She has produced original illustrations, designed and produced publications, managed equipment, organized events, painted walls, framed pictures, managed space and addressed the thousands of details that make an organization run. She has conducted fieldwork with a wide range of species from pelicans to osprey to peregrines to shorebirds to waterbirds to passerines. She has produced and mailed a personal letter of thanks to everyone who has ever made a donation to The Center. She is the gentle caring voice that reaches out and connects with people of all stripes.
Helen Keller was famous for saying that “true happiness is not attained through self gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” Marian has embodied this ethos with untold sacrifices for conservation. She has asked little and given much. Her most cherished rewards have been witnessing first hand the endlessly fascinating ways that birds behave, the many ways that nature inspires, the triumphs we have had in turning many species around and spending time with all of the great people along the way.
For all of her selfless contributions through the decades, The Center presents Marian Watts with the Distinguished Service Award.