Tamara James

You often hear of the 3 T’s in volunteerism – Time, treasure and talent, and we always hope that a volunteer will give one of those to your organization. Tamara James has consistently given all three to Columbus Audubon. Time – volunteering for CA in so many ways over the years, Treasure – by maintaining membership in Columbus Audubon and the Grange Insurance Audubon Center and donating generously to our organization. And,finally Talent.

Tamara first became involved with CA in the 1990’s as our volunteer coordinator. In this role she took on the challenge of organizing volunteers for various CA activities and to represent CA at gardening, environmental, wildlife and other nature events throughout central Ohio. This was before the widespread use of email, and she devoted many hours to actually calling volunteers on the telephone to make sure events were covered. She also created ways to recognize volunteers for their efforts. Ultimately, she successfully developed the ranks of CA volunteers, thanks to her wonderful people and organization skills and the support she gave volunteers.

While she served as volunteer coordinator, she also was voted onto the Board of Trustees. Always thoughtful, she could be counted on to ask the hard questions in service to our members. She helped guide important Board decisions, such as the one to purchase and preserve Calamus Swamp, and helped make the first Art for Audubon fundraiser a huge success.

She took a break from CA around 2003, but fortunately for us, we managed to lure her back a few years later. Until recently, she served as our newsletter editor and spent untold hours of time working on the CA newsletter. She is currently back on the CA board and continues to ask those hard questions on certain board issues.

Outside of CA, Tamara has been the interim state director of AARP for the last year and before that served as their manager of outreach. She is also on the board of the Midwest Biodiversity Institute and is on the Friends of the Library board with Columbus Metropolitan Library. In her spare time she enjoys a little bird watching and is currently fostering rescued greyhounds.

In honor of all her work for Columbus Audubon, we are delighted to present the 2016 Song Sparrow Award to Tamara James.

The Song Sparrow Award was established in 1996 and is Columbus Audubon’s highest honor. It recognizes outstanding contributions by Columbus Audubon members who promote CA’s mission often over the course of their membership. Traditionally, at least one Song Sparrow award is given every year for education, conservation, and/or meritorious service. The Song Sparrow Award was established to commemorate Margaret Morse Nice’s groundbreaking scientific
contributions on the life histories of Song Sparrows. Nice’s pioneering work put Ohio on the map of the ornithological world.