Elizabeth McCanceIt is that time of year again. The daffodils are out, the robins are flitting in my yard, and I am planning my summer months at Fishers. I am very excited about this year’s line-up of Museum programs and events. With the generous sponsorship of Altus Partners and Chubb, our director Pierce Rafferty has assembled a great annual exhibit about the photographers of Fishers Island. There were so many images competing for
inclusion that this year’s show is just “Part One”—covering the decades between 1880 and 1940. Among other things, visitors will be intrigued by changes large and small to landscapes and structures.

We also have a great group of speakers scheduled. Russ Cohen, expert forager and wild food enthusiast, will teach us about wild edibles, both during his lecture and on a Penni Sharp Nature Walk. Who knows what we might find on Fishers Island to eat! Dr. Brian Jones, the Connecticut State Archaeologist, will speak about Native American life in Connecticut over the millennia. Archaeologist Dr. Kevin McBride, Director of Research at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, will reveal the scope of his recent work at coastal sites on Block Island, both on land and underwater. Eric Jay
Dolin, author of “Brilliant Beacons,” will chronicle the dramatic history of lighthouses and their keepers in the United States. Focusing on current issues, Dr. Tundi Agardy, founder of Sound Seas, will discuss her work with marine conservation and the importance of marine biodiversity. Last but not least, Pierce will regale us with an often humorous narrative of how the outside world has viewed our beloved community for the last 250 years.

In addition to our speaker series, we have a full summer schedule of children’s programming to entertain and inform our younger members. The different events will cover a variety of topics, including animal diversity, bird adaptations, classification, gardening, owls, insects, and archaeology.

I also want to bring attention to the important work being done by the members of our Land Trust Committee, who are striving to both protect ecologically important parcels from development, and to manage areas for conservation goals that are held in the Land Trust. The Land Trust Committee has initiated a number of projects to tackle invasive species, the number one threat to the ecological integrity of the island. Please see Bob Miller’s report on this work on page three.

As you might imagine, all of this programming and conservation work is only achieved through the incredible dedication and hard work of a number of volunteers and the generosity of our members. The vitality of our Museum depends on the strength of our membership. If you enjoy our exhibits, take your child to a nature program, walk our network of trails, enrich yourself at our speaker series, I strongly encourage you to become a member.

I look forward to seeing you this summer!

—Elizabeth McCance, President