Katyrn Renard and Amy Boyd
Katryn Renard (L) with the James Chase Hambleton award presented by Columbus Audubon President, Amy Boyd (R).

Columbus Audubon’s James Chase Hambleton Award was presented to Katryn Renard in 2018. The following remarks were made by Amy Boyd, President of Columbus Audubon, when presenting the award to Katryn.

Last week, I attended a very special event with my friend and colleague, Barb Revard, at the annual pot luck dinner for the volunteers of Service in the Preserves: a Columbus Audubon program. The event took place at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, where we celebrated Katyrn Renard’s 36 years of leadership of Service in the Preserves by honoring her with the James Chase Hambleton Award.

We have been so fortunate to have Katryn leading this very important program in our community. I was struck by what she has created over these years, including the love and camaraderie that this group of people has shown towards one another. It really is the glue that has kept this group together and so effective for all these years.

She sparked this program when Jim Davidson was president of Columbus Audubon. After Katryn went on a field trip, it struck her that they could have working field trips. She asked Jim if Columbus Audubon could have such a program. He said, “if you are willing to lead it, then why not!” Service in the Preserves was born.

Ohio has many nature preserves, and not all are accessible to the public. Many of them need attention to keep invasive species at bay, maintain boardwalks, and undertake many other tasks that the Department of Natural Areas and Preserves just can’t get to. For 36 years, this amazing group of volunteers has gone out about once a month and helped maintain our preserves. They always work hard, but it is clear there is always a lot of fun to be had, and many memories made. One family raised their children going on these working field trips and instilled a love of nature that they otherwise might not have developed.

When I heard about all the fun they have, and that they always go for ice cream after the trips, I was sold! I have pledged to do at least one trip next year. Please consider joining us. This is a great way to get involved and help preserve our natural areas. Sometimes we feel that things are happening in our world and our communities that we have no control over. This is a way to make a positive difference, meet like-minded people, and give back to our Mother Earth who takes care of us so well.

Katryn’s efforts on behalf of Columbus Audubon are by no means limited to her work with the Service in the Preserves program. She served as President from 1995 through 1996, and was coordinator of the Birdathon, CA’s primary fundraiser, for many years. For these and so many more contributions, we are proud to honor Katryn with the James Chase Hambleton Award.