The History of Eastside Audubon Society

Eastside Audubon formed in 1980 as the East Lake Washington Audubon Society (ELWAS) and received its official charter as a chapter of the National Audubon Society in 1982. Our members share a common interest in birds, the protection of their habitat, and the environment in which we all live.

In 1980 a small group of like-minded people got together and formed the East Lake Washington Audubon Society (ELWAS). The east side was growing, and they believed there were enough people to make another viable Audubon chapter in Washington State.

The 37 charter members envisioned a chapter dedicated to the appreciation, study, and conservation of birds and their habitats. The first meetings were held in the Clise Mansion at Marymoor Park, and in 1982 we received our charter as a chapter of the National Audubon Society.

Since the chapter formed, east King County has grown and changed. So has the chapter, and in 2008 the membership voted to change the name to Eastside Audubon.

Since we started, we have been an important voice for the protection of birds and their habitat on the east side. Dedicated volunteers have been instrumental in preserving many areas for the birds: Lake Hills Greenbelt, Juanita Bay Park, Hazel Wolf Wetlands, and Marymoor Park. Throughout the years, volunteers also have conducted scientific surveys in parks and other areas throughout the east side in order to monitor bird population changes.

In 1984, because of the lobbying efforts of our members, then-Governor John Spellman declared May 24 to be Washington's Annual Bird Day.

Our members come together to enjoy bird watching, bird photography, conservation projects and activism, plant sales, classes, and field trips and nature walks. We believe that those who care about birds will also want to protect their environment, so our Youth Education Committee offers classroom presentations. Our monthly publication, The Corvid Crier, has been published continuously since 1979. These activities are a source of learning and fellowship for those who participate.

Photo: Great Blue Heron, by Tyler Hartje

Photo: Great Blue Heron, by Tyler Hartje