Elizabeth McCance

From the President

Despite the calamity that is Covid-19 befalling us, spring has arrived. Daffodils and tulips are in bloom, birds are cacophonously chirping at dawn, and once again I feel that deep internal yearning to shed the layers of winter hibernation and get outside. When these signs appear, I also look forward to my annual relocation to Fishers Island. While we all hear the ICB and IHP reports and reluctantly accept that this summer will be different from past summers, we can still look forward to the beauty, serenity, culture, and community that draw us to Fishers Island like a flock of migrating birds.

Because mounting exhibits and developing programs takes lots of time, we have decided to move forward with a virtual summer, planning for the worst case and hoping to be pleasantly surprised. I am very excited, however, about the summer that we have planned. One silver lining in this forced virtual world is that the Museum may actually reach new and broader audiences. We may find new ways to connect with one another or seize previously-unused opportunities to explore and enjoy nature.

Our annual exhibit this summer is titled Coastal Defense Forts of Eastern Long Island Sound: Abandonment, Ruination and Repurposing, and, as always, it will include fabulous photographs (old and new) and Pierce’s well-researched analysis of the history and current state of these former forts. We are grateful to Altus Partners and Chubb for their continued support of our annual exhibit and for partnering with us in creating a new venue for online shows.

In addition to the annual show, throughout the season the Museum will periodically post images, historical documents, and recorded illustrated talks by Pierce. Thanks to a generous grant from the Jeanann Gray Dunlap Foundation, much content has been digitized and is ready to view on our redesigned website. Make sure you are signed up for our weekly emails to learn when new content is posted.

Our lecture series will continue this summer, Sundays at 4:00 p.m. You will be able to enjoy the lectures from the comfort of your living room, as they will be delivered via webinar. We’ll share a wide array of lecture topics for adults as well as children’s programs, all of which are listed at the back of the newsletter. Our Fishers Island Nature Discovery (FIND) program will lead students on self-directed missions followed by
naturalist-led virtual discussions on their findings.

I also invite islanders of all ages to take some time to enjoy the ample public space the Land Trust has to offer. The Museum maintains 10 different trail systems within the 350-plus acres of open space protected by the Museum’s Land Trust. Come listen to the birds, meditate in a quiet woodland, bask in the sun with the turtles, or soak in the spectra of wildflowers. This summer is an invitation to try something new.

Though no one knows when life will return to “normal,” I am looking forward to a summer filled with fun activities. Rest assured that as soon as it is safe to open the Museum doors, we will! I am going to miss our social gatherings on the back deck, but I hope to connect with all of you through our
many shared events this summer.

Elizabeth McCance, President

The Eclectic Houses of Fishers Island and Beyond. A virtual illustrated talk by Jacob Albert, July 5th, 2020.