Black Swamp’s Kimberly Kaufman highlights Speaker Series on Catawba

Apr 12, 2023 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments


The Catawba Island Township Trustees, with the support of the Catawba Island Township Parks Board, will introduce its lineup for a Speaker Series this spring and summer. All events are free and open to the public, and will be held at the Catawba Island Township Community Hall, 3307 Northwest Catawba Rd.

Each evening event will begin at 6 p.m.

Kimberly Kaufman, the executive director of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory at the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area in Oak Harbor, and the brains behind the Greatest Week in American Birding in Northwest Ohio on May 5-14, will be featured on Friday, June 14.

Kaufman’s presentation will be “Why Birds and Birding Matter to Northwest Ohio.” She will share a few reasons to consider expanding your knowledge of birds and birding and supporting Black Swamp Bird Observatory and the Biggest Week in American Birding, which attracts more than 100,000 birders of all types each spring.

Kaufman has played a key role in building BSBO’s school programs, as well as the highly successful Ohio Young Birders Club, a group for teenagers that have served as a model for youth birding programs. Kaufman is also the co-founder of The Biggest Week In American Birding, the largest birding festival in the U.S.

Suzy Wittenmyer will be featured on Wednesday, July 12, presenting “Butterflies of Cedar Meadow Preserve.” Wittenmyer will cover the butterfly monitoring project in Ohio, the layout of habitats in Cedar Meadow Nature Preserve on Catawba island, and the specific species that have been sighted in the Catawba preserve.

Wittenmyer grew up on Catawba Island, with her family going back three generations, and graduated from Port Clinton High School. When she left her home town, she was torn between expanding her horizons and appreciating the glorious horizons here on Lake Erie.

One draw of the college she attended, Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, was its 1,000-acre nature preserve attached to the campus. When it came time to raise her family, she decided to return to Ohio and settled in Bowling Green. She became interested in butterflies when one of the Catawba Island Park Board members, Meredith Beck, was recruiting people to help in a monitoring project.  She has been counting butterflies at Cedar Meadow since 2014.

Peter Huston will conclude the Speaker Series on Wednesday, Aug. 23 with his presentation, “Lake Erie Foundation.” Huston will share the Lake Erie Foundation’s mission of sustaining and protecting the waters of Lake Erie now and in the future.

Huston is a Board Member for the Lake Erie Foundation. He attended Ohio State Universities’ School for Film and attended Boston University, where he received his degree in broadcasting and film from the School of Public Communication (SPC’81).

He is a writer, producer, and director. Huston was honored as Put-in-Bay Islander of the Year. He is the past president of the Put-in-Bay Arts Council, past chairman of the Planning Board, and was coordinating director of the bicentennial celebration for The Perry Group (Friends of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial).

Huston is on the board of directors at the Lake Erie Island Historical Society and a Board Member for Shores & Islands Ohio.

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November 2023

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