Recently, as Red Rock Audubon was considering its future direction and projects during a Board meeting, a question was raised as to how we came to be where we are today. It quickly became evident that our predecessors had forged a path and built a foundation that has enabled RRAS to thrive and grow. Three names that stood out were Je Anne Blackman, Rita Schlageter, and Carolyn Titus.
As a token of our appreciation for their contributions, it was decided to honor them with a presentation at a recent general meeting. Some of their contributions were described to the audience at that meeting.
Je Anne Blackman has been birding for over 40 years. She has volunteered with RRAS as Education Chair, Treasurer, Vice President, and Interim President during a recent transition. She also was the Whittell Fund Chair, the Field Trip Chair, and a Field Trip Leader. She has written three articles for Birding World (previously Birdwatching) and recently wrote an essay that was included in the book Dead in Good Company (about wildlife at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts). Her essay was selected to be included among those written by a number of birding experts and writers who are very well established, including a Pulitzer prize winner.
Rita Schlageter has volunteered at RRAS for many years. She has been the Hospitality Chair, managed the RRAS phone line when we had only an answering machine, conducted monthly bird walks at Floyd Lamb Park, lead Birds in the Garden at the old Water Authority garden (across Alta Drive from the new Springs Preserve), and participated in Scout and School programs. If anyone has an excuse for being too busy to do anything else, it’s Rita. In her spare time, she raised four kids, provides fantastic seamstress work for casinos (uniforms), makes custom wedding dresses, and keeps the books for her family business.
Carolyn Titus has a Master’s Degree in Chemistry and has taught chemistry at UNLV. She is the author of most of the bird lists in Nevada, including Southern Nevada Birds, and A Seekers Guide published Dec. 1, 1998 by RRAS. The guides distributed at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve were authored by Carolyn. She has also been cited as a source of Nevada birding information in such publications as Peterson’s birding guides and other well-known guides to birding. Carolyn has significantly elevated our knowledge of birds in Nevada.
We greatly appreciate the contributions of Je Anne, Rita, and Carolyn, and look forward to many more years of their continuing participation in the Red Rock Audubon Society.