The Klamath Bird Observatory family would like to congratulate Laura Fleming on her Friend to the Environment Award. Laura, owner of the Medford, Wild Birds Unlimited store received the prestigious Friend to the Environment Award in 2019 at the annual meeting of the Wild Birds Unlimited franchisees. This award is presented to one of over three hundred store owners yearly to recognize those who exceed the mission to “bring people and nature together”.
Laura received the award in part due to her leadership role in supporting a wide variety of her community’s nature education activities and conservation organizations. She does so by providing financial support, giving countless hours of volunteer time, promoting and supporting their events and programs, and serving as an officer or board member for a couple of these organizations. Laura recently completed five years of service to the Klamath Bird Observatory as an officer and member of its Board of directors. Currently she is a member of the Board of Directors for the Rogue Valley Audubon Society.
Dr. John Alexander, the Executive Director of the Klamath Bird Observatory stated, “It’s hard to capture the extent of Laura’s leadership and impact. Her quiet, yet focused leadership and her leading by example were incredibly influential and inspiring for our board members and staff. Laura walks the talk.”
Laura attends numerous events throughout the area to promote her store and conservation. A few of these events include: the Rogue Valley Migratory Bird Day; the Klamath Basin’s Winter Wings Bird Festival; Rogue Valley Earth Day Celebration; Klamath Bird Observatory’s Wings and Wine Gala; the Bear Creek Salmon Festival; the Master Gardener Spring Fair; the Vaux’s Happening Fall Carnival and many others. She often “wears several hats” at these events. Promoting her store but also taking the opportunity to promote the Rogue Valley Audubon Society and the Klamath Bird Observatory.
Laura is frequently asked to give talks in her community for garden clubs; libraries; adult education classes; historical societies; retirement centers; rotary clubs; and more. These talks primarily revolve around feeding and identifying birds throughout seasons, designing backyard habitats, nesting tips, attracting hummingbirds, and other topics.
Through educational events at Wild Birds Unlimited, Laura and her staff hold many free events at the store every month. These include: a monthly educational talk which usually hosts a local community expert. The store also hosts a monthly bird walk to various birding “hot spots” in the valley. Post bi-monthly Chickadee Chats which are informal discussions on what is happening in the avian world, generally focusing on a specific bird group.
During the presentation of the Friend to the Environment award, Laura also received recognition for helping to raise awareness of the local Vaux’s Swift population in partnership with Rogue Valley Audubon Society and Southern Oregon Land Conservancy; holding a fundraiser for Badger Run Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, and supporting and partnering with Siskiyou Audubon Society during their nest box building workshops and selling 100 of their pre-made nest boxes each spring.
Wild Birds Unlimited, located in Medford, OR is part of the original and largest franchise system of backyard bird feeding and nature specialty stores. There are more than 300 locations throughout the United States and Canada. They specialize in bringing people and nature together with their bird feeding and nature products, their expert advice, and educational events. Visit our Web site at www.wbu.com.