Elizabeth McCanceI don’t know about you, but the first seventy degree days always have me itching for summer and the return to Fishers Island. I am particularly excited to get to Fishers this summer to see the Museum’s newly renovated Second Floor. By adding a whole new level of public space, this renovation significantly increases the programs and offerings of the Museum. Our popular Wednesday afternoon children’s programs will now be able to move indoors whenever the weather does not cooperate. The Second Floor will also be used for most of our adult lectures with AV equipment and blackout shades that ensure clear viewing of PowerPoint presentations. The Museum has already hosted several illustrated lectures this spring, and intends to offer regularly scheduled programs year round in the future. Please let Pierce know if there is a topic you are interested in. If you want to explore some subject on your own, there is an extensive reference library on the Second Floor, as well as the new Richard E. Riegel, Jr. Maritime Library. All winter, Pierce and Mary Linda have been tirelessly cataloguing books for these libraries. The Second Floor also provides wonderful new exhibit and gallery space. I hope your summer will include a visit to the Museum during which you can explore our new Second Floor. It is a community space for all of us; please come and enjoy it. We enthusiastically thank all who supported this important project!

As I mentioned in my letter last year, the Land Trust has moved into a phase of articulating conservation goals and developing management plans to achieve those goals. I am From the President pleased to announce that two graduate student interns from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies will spend the summer helping us. Our interns, Martin Becker and Alex Todorovic-Jones, have significant experience in this area, come highly recommended, and are eager to get to work. They will be coordinating with Land Trust committee members as they survey and collect data from the Land Trust properties. By the end of the summer, we should have a useful management plan that will guide our actions to achieve our conservation goals and provide benchmarks so that we can evaluate our progress.

There are several exciting new exhibits this year, including the 2016 Annual Exhibition: Mansion House Hotel & Cottages. Board member Terry McNamara, an educator with decades of experience teaching science and the natural sciences at the high school level, will once again be leading our Thursday afternoon nature walks. The Penni Sharp Nature Walk series continues with invited professionals sharing their ecological knowledge with participants out in the field.

For a full listing of all the activities this summer, see the “Speakers and Programs” section at the back of this newsletter, or visit the programs section of our web site: www.fergusonmuseum.org

Finally, please join us at the Museum for our opening reception on Saturday, June 25th, five to seven p.m. I hope to see you there!
—Elizabeth McCance, President