VENICE AREA AUDUBON SOCIETY
Providing education and conservation to protect birds and their habitats at the Venice Rookery and the greater Venice area.

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VAAS Board of directors

President
Kristin Hoffschmidt

Vice President
Linda Moore

Treasurer
Rick Cordner

Membership Secretary
Bailey Cleveland

Corporate Secretary
Jean Pichler


Director
Bob Clark

Director
Roy Musick 

Director                             Director
Eileen Gerle                     Judy Landkamer

PAST LEADERS

The following article was written in 2020 about the retirement of longtime volunteer Charlie Sample.

25 Years of Service

The Venice Audubon Rookery was a fitting setting for 40 friends to gather together on May 28th to acknowledge, thank and wish Charlie Sample (known to many as Venice’s Mr. Audubon), well as he retires from over 25 years of volunteering, working for, and promoting Venice Audubon and Venice Audubon’s Rookery/Center.

Charlie’s history with Florida began in 1986 on a birding trip and a few years later with a move to the Venice area. He attended his first VAAS meeting in 1996 and immediately joined. As an avid birder with past experience in leading bird trips with the Delaware Nature Society and the Delmarva Ornithology Society, he quickly learned the local birds and began leading trips at Shamrock Park, Caspersen Beach, Plantation Golf & Country Club and Carlton Reserve. Through Sarasota Parks, he was granted permission to lead car trips into the Carlton Reserve back country, allowing avid birders and handicapped individuals to bird in an area they could not otherwise access. Additionally, via Charlie's efforts, VAAS established a bluebird trail in the Carlton Reserve. He has conducted bird ID classes through VAAS and in the community to help birders sharpen their identification skills.

Charlie has also organized and led numerous VAAS overnight trips to the Dry Tortugas and Lower Keys, St. Marks NWR, Everglades NWR, Lake Okeechobee, Okefenokee Swamp NWR in Georgia, Merritt Island NWR and Chinsegut Hill. He was also responsible for taking VAAS members on overseas birding trips to Panama and the rain forest of Costa Rica.

Charlie has served on the VAAS Board as the Director in charge of Programs,

Second Vice President and President. While President, Charlie’s goal was to make VAAS a recognized birding/conservation organization in Sarasota County. In 1999, Charlie single handedly persuaded the Sarasota County Government to allow our Audubon Chapter to access the vacant building located behind the county courthouse. Thus the Venice Audubon Center came into existence where it has prospered and has grown membership. Charlie’s accomplishments are too numerous to mention, but each one is greatly appreciated.

In Charlie’s own words: “I have had a wonderful experience over my 25 years with VAAS as a member, leader and adviser. My happiest moments in VAAS have been gaining the support of the VAAS Boards and the general membership to respond with support for the Venice Audubon Center. Members and friends have helped to support the Center with generous donations and furniture. It has been most gratifying to watch the Center grow and become the focal point for programs, activities and educational endeavors. May the future of VAAS continue to grow and be a leading Chapter on environmental/conservation issues vital to us all as well as all wildlife.” 


Contact us

Email: info@veniceaudubon.org

Telephone: 941-496-8984

Sarasota County Call Center: 941-861-5000 (General information and directions)

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