Now that we’re starting a new year, it’s a good time to take stock of what we accomplished in 2009. It might sound trite, but in today’s financial climate, surviving is the new thriving, so we’re very happy to have some accomplishments to talk about.
Budget cuts meant that we had to stop printing
Keystone Wild!Notes, but now that it’s exclusively online,
it’s bigger and better than ever. We can now include web
links, videos, and other interactive options.
Unfortunately, the budget cuts also meant that we had
to say goodbye to our outstanding editor, Linda Steiner.
In her short tenure she made some very positive
In collaboration with the Pennsylvania State Museum, we sponsored the publication of A Pocket Guide to Pennsylvania Snakes. The book is getting rave reviews and is the first in a series of inexpensive field guides that we’ll be publishing. Look for an amphibian guide to come out later this year.
One of the year’s highlights occurred
in September when Cosmo’s World
won an Emmy® Award. The National Academy of
Television Arts & Sciences Mid-Atlantic Chapter
presented the award in the Children/Youth/Teen
But enough about the past, what about the year that lies ahead? Indications are that it will be another trying year financially. The Environmental Stewardship Fund, which is the source of our grant funding, has declined significantly, and without a new source of funding, we will probably make only a small number of grants again this year.
We do, however, have some exciting things to look forward to. We are working with several state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and universities to develop a strategy to help our native species cope with climate change. We will be hosting a research conference, Adapting to Climate Change in Pennsylvania—Planning for the Future of Our Natural Resources, at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center in Erie on April 30. This will be the first time that experts from around the state come together to seriously discuss what we know, what we don’t know, and how we should approach natural resource climate change adaptation.
On the following day, we’ll hold our 6th Wild Resource Festival, which last time drew more than 1,100 visitors. Once again this year participants will have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with researchers, conservationists, and educators about their work, go on field trips, and tour the research labs at the Ridge Center.
These are just a few of the accomplishments from the past year and some of those that we look forward to in 2010. We’ll also be busy looking for new ways to rejuvenate our grant program, provide more opportunities for Pennsylvania’s citizens and businesses to support our important work, and focus even more on developing climate change adaptation strategies.