Minus 9 Windchill. Photograph by Marlin Bloethe, February 14, 2016

Elizabeth McCanceSpring has arrived, and the Museum is gearing up for a great summer season full of new exhibits, hands-on children’s programs, stimulating lectures, and restorative nature walks. Many of you will remember last year’s popular exhibit, Photographers of Fishers Island, 1880s to 1930s. This year’s annual exhibit focuses on our photographers from the 1940s to date. For the first time, Director Pierce Rafferty is utilizing both floors of the Museum for a single exhibition. We are once again grateful to have Altus Partners and Chubb as our sponsors. Please note that there is also a special display in the Natural History Gallery entitled Trash on Our Shores: Action Needed, that brings attention to a growing problem.

We have a great set of speakers scheduled for this summer, including Russ Cohen, who is returning to teach us more about edible wild plants and foraging on Fishers Island. Author Patrick Lynch will lecture on the subject of Long Island Sound and Its Coastline: 20,000 Years of Change. Pierce’s annual lecture will be The Great Hurricane of 1938. For all the architecture buffs, Jacob Albert will examine architectural styles in a talk entitled From the Shingle Style to the Colonial Revival. Our popular children’s programs will once again be held on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. A complete list of lectures and programs can be found beginning on page 14.

Every Thursday in July and August, board member Terry McNamara will lead nature walks along beaches and Land Trust trails beginning at 10:30 a.m. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars! As you wander our many trails, make sure that you visit the Chocomount Cove Sanctuary, the newest addition to our Land Trust properties. To learn more about this beautiful new sanctuary, read the Land Trust Report on page 3.

I want to take a moment for reflection. The island in general and the Museum in particular lost two great men this past year: Dick Baker and Charlie Ferguson. Dick was one of a small group that gathered in 1960 to found the Museum. He served in many capacities on the Museum’s Board for 43 years, stepping down as vice-president in 2003. Charlie became the Museum’s second Curator in 1966 after the death of his brother Lee. He became vice-president in 1970 and president in 1978. He ably guided the Museum in that position for 25 years until he stepped down, also in 2003. We will deeply miss and warmly remember both of these amazing men who gave so much to the Museum and our community.

I want to end by thanking all of the Museum members, without whom the Museum would not be the vibrant institution it is today. Your generous donations enable the Museum to build and exhibit its collections, protect lands in the Land Trust, and offer a wide variety of programming. If you are not currently a member of the Museum, please consider joining. Finally, I want to invite everyone to join me at the Museum’s opening reception, which will be held Saturday, June 30th, from 5 to 7 p.m.

—Elizabeth McCance, President