Birds Georgia was delighted to present long-time volunteer Melinda Langston with the 2023 Scottie Johnson Spirit Award at the Holiday Party and Annual Meeting on Sunday, December 3.
Melinda has been a volunteer with Birds Georgia for many years. For several years, she managed the Wildlife Sanctuary Program before it was turned over to staff position. During her tenure as volunteer coordinator for that program, she revamped the requirements for certification, created a best practices document, and was a fantastic ambassador for the program bringing many new properties into the program AND spreading the word about the program to other organizations and to our members.
She later joined the Birds Georgia Board of Directors, where she served for several years. In recent years, Melinda has worked closely with the conservation program coordinator to certify properties that were due for certification visits, including properties further afield that are more difficult for our Avian Advocate volunteers to visit. When Birds Georgia's staff person left the organization, Melinda stepped in to catch up a backlog of certifications and is currently working with conservation program staff to update and modernize the certification process so that it can better address properties across the state. Melinda is a Birds Georgia Master Birder, a Master Naturalist, and a fantastic volunteer for Georgia Audubon!
About the Scottie Johnson Spirit Award
In 2018, Georgia Audubon lost an incredibly dedicated volunteer and dear friend, Eleanor Scott Johnson. "Scottie", as her family and friends called her, was an avid birder and long-time volunteer for Georgia Audubon. There wasn’t a task that Scottie wasn’t up for, whether that was giving educational presentations, walking a Project Safe Flight route, certifying wildlife sanctuaries, or writing the Ask Chippy column. Scottie always raised her hand to help us out. She was a nurse, a mother, a Master Birder, and a wonderful human being with an amazing spirit. Although we lost Scottie to cancer in 2018, we continue to celebrate her spirit, kindness, and perseverance annually by honoring an outstanding volunteer with the Scottie Johnson Spirit Award. Anne McCallum, a long-time volunteer with Georgia Audubon received the inaugural award in 2019, Charles Loeb was the 2020 recipient, Steve Phenicie received the award in 2021, and Mary Kimberly was recognized in 2022.
Birds Georgia commissioned a watercolor painting of a Red-headed Woodpecker by Amanda Woomer, Birds Georgia Board Member, to present to Melinda in recognition of her service to the organization.
Birds Georgia is building places where birds and people thrive.