While many of you have probably heard this news by now, I'm truly sorry
to relate that the Vermont birding and conservation community lost one
if its dearest friends today. Julie Nicholson, an active birder and
Woodstock resident for > 35 years, passed away this morning after a
brief illness. She was surrounded by several of those closest to her
and departed quietly, without great pain or struggle. Julie was a
fixture on the Vermont birding scene from the very beginning of VINS in
the early 1970s. She defined the term 'volunteerism', giving generously
and graciously of her energy in innumerable ways -- busting blocks
during both the first and second Breeding Bird Atlases, shepherding the
Records of Vermont Birds for 30+ years, serving as a member and de facto
coordinator of the Vermont Bird Records Committee for longer than anyone
can remember, conducting countless Birdathons that raised thousands of
dollars for bird conservation groups..... the list goes on.
Julie did all this with a quiet, self-effacing grace and good humor.
She will be missed by all of us who knew her, as a friend, fellow
birder, and ardent conservationist, but most of all as a friend.
As of now, no formal plans have been announced for a memorial service or
special gathering to honor and celebrate Julie's life. If such plans
materialize (and we hope they will), they will be made public so that
Julie's many friends and admirers can gather to pay her tribute. Many
of us attempted to inform in person today those who of you who were
closest to Julie about her death. We apologize to any of you that we
missed, and we realize that a listserv announcement substitutes poorly
for personal contact. However, knowing how extensive and deep Julie's
influence was on the Vermont birding community, we felt that this news
should be made public as soon as possible.
I know you all join us in in honoring Julie as a remarkable human being
who cared deeply about the natural world and its avian inhabitants. She
left us a rich legacy, and we are lucky for having known her.
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
P.O. Box 420
Norwich, VT 05055
802-649-1431 ext. 1