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MRVAC Programs

No MRVAC events. See you in September!

  • ~ August 29, 2016. 8:00 am. Field Trip: Bloomington Ferry Bird Trek

Chip Notes: July-August, 2016 – New MRVAC Board; New Audubon MN Director

By Greg Burnes, MRVAC President

New MRVAC Board

During May’s membership meeting the 2016/17 MRVAC Board of Directors was elected. We have a number of returning members, one that is leaving us, and two new members.

Below are the 2016/17 board members and their roles:

  • Greg Burnes – President
  • Steven Weston – Vice President/Program Chair
  • Bob Janssen – President Elect
  • Bob Williams – Treasurer
  • Mathew Schaut – Secretary
  • Becky Lystig – Trumpeter Chair
  • Patty Larson – Membership Chair
  • Ken Oulman – Member-at-Large
  • Rick Magee – Member-at-Large
  • Monica Rauchwarter – Member-at-Large

Dianne Rowse is leaving the board. She has made great contributions during her tenure and we will miss her insights and input. Dianne and Nick – good luck on all your retirement adventures and hope to see you soon.

We have two new members, Bob Janssen and Monica Rauchwarter. Bob Janssen is a familiar face to most of us. He has been birding for over 70 years and has authored numerous books, is active in a number of conservation organizations, continues to be a trip leader, educator, and speaker throughout the state, and has lead bird survey activities all over Minnesota. Bob’s passion and knowledge of birds and his desire to protect and enhance their habitat will have a profound impact on how MRVAC shapes its conservation focus.

Monica brings fresh eyes and energy to our board. She is an interpretive naturalist at Richardson Nature Center of the Three Rivers Park District. Teaching and learning about the impact of habitat loss and climate change on bird populations has inspired her to take additional steps in conservation and education. She hopes to encourage people of a variety of ages and backgrounds to notice, care about, and take steps to protect birds and their habitats.

New Executive Director for Audubon Minnesota 

I was privileged to have a small part in the interview process for the new Executive Director at Audubon Minnesota. We interviewed a very strong slate of candidates and I am excited that Molly Pederson was selected.

We all love birds and know that we can only enjoy them if their habitat thrives. Molly brings 15 years of public policy experience to the organization. Most recently, Pederson served as Senior Policy Advisor for Governor Mark Dayton, covering the areas of environment, energy, agriculture, and commerce. Her accomplishments include spearheading Governor Dayton’s successful water summit in February and securing passage of the Governor’s buffer initiative.

“Molly Pederson has been a tremendous Senior Policy Advisor in our Office,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “Her outstanding leadership has advanced the causes of clean water and better environmental stewardship throughout Minnesota. As Vice President and Executive Director of Audubon Minnesota, Molly’s vision and dedication will continue to protect and enhance our State’s environment for generations to come.”

We will be inviting Molly to our fall refuge meeting to welcome her and talk about how MRVAC can work closely with Audubon Minnesota and other chapters to support efforts to preserve birding habitat. 

Mark & Becky Lystig: 2016 Trumpeter Award Winners

Congratulations to Mark & Becky Lystig for winning the 2016 Trumpeter Award.  Read more here.

We’re looking for an Education Chair

Want to get the word out about birding and conservation? Work with schools to distribute Audubon Adventures materials. Learn more.

Become a bird walk leader/co-leader!

MRVAC is looking for people interested in leading or co-leading local bird walks. You don’t need to be an expert, just someone who knows a little something about birds and where to find them. Read more.

Raise money for MRVAC while shopping with AmazonSmile

When customers shop on AmazonSmile (, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers. We hope you will select the Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter!

Old Cedar Avenue Trailhead updates

Work has been moving ahead this winter at the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge site. The City of Bloomington posts regular updates on the construction. Learn more.

MRVAC Grant Requests

We’ll be reviewing grant requests in early 2016. If you know of an organization that fits the mission of MRVAC, read more here.

Join the Environmental Action Committee

Help MRVAC make a difference for birds and wildlife – and the special places we like to visit. Learn more.

Treats needed for upcoming meetings

We always need treats! If you can bring a few dozen cookies, bars or some easy- to-eat snack to share at one of our meetings, please call Robin, the Social Chair, at 612-723-2633 or email to