Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Full Schedule at Sylvan Heights

With the arrival of November comes a sigh of relief for all the staff here at the Park. October proved to be one of our busiest months in terms of special events. At the beginning of the month, we welcomed members of the American Pheasant and Waterfowl Society as we hosted one day of their busy conference. Over 50 members toured the park and enjoyed lunch provided by Down East Animal Refuge. You can learn more about the APWS by clicking on the link in our sidebar.

A week later, the Bird’s Nest Treehouse was christened with its first wedding. Beautiful decorations and newly installed lighting helped to create the perfect atmosphere for an evening wedding, after which guests returned to our Golden Leaf room in the Park’s Eco-center for an elegant reception. (To learn more about wedding event opportunities at the Park, contact Jo Ann at 252-826-3186.)

The following day, Sylvan Heights held a fundraiser to benefit our new Interactive Exhibit, which is scheduled to open next year. TV personality and wildlife conservationist, Joan Embery, gave a fabulous presentation, which included video clips of some of her appearances with Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show, as well as David Letterman and Jay Leno. Afterwards, guests were able to meet Ms. Embery in person while enjoying wine and cheese.

Later that week, we hosted a second conference. Over 60 members from around the country and Europe attended the International Wild Waterfowl Association Convention. Members spent the day visiting the Park and enjoyed special behind-the-scenes tours of the Breeding Center next door. A most delicious lunch was provided by the Friends of Sylvan Heights, and the Park would like to thank them for their dedication and effort. During the day, conference attendees were also treated to two magic shows by famed magician, Brian Staples. That evening, a catered dinner was followed by an energetic live auction, which featured numerous waterfowl-themed items such as books, paintings, house wares and more. You can learn more about the IWWA by clicking on their link in our sidebar as well.

Sylvan Heights’ staff members attended the IWWA’s banquet the next night, and we were all delighted when the organization honored two of our employees with prestigious awards. Nick Hill, Curator of Sylvan Heights’ Breeding Center, received a certificate on behalf of Mike Lubbock and Sylvan Heights Waterfowl for the first breeding in captivity of Chinese Mergansers in North America. In addition, Brad Hazelton, General Curator of S. H. Waterfowl Park, was awarded the Southwick Memorial Award for his illustrious efforts in establishing a new species (lesser flamingos) in captivity.

And lastly, we’d like to congratulate our director, Mike Lubbock, who has recently been elected president of the Carolinas/Virginia Pheasant and Waterfowl Society. The CVPWS is an organization dedicated to educating the members and public in preserving and the propagation of all varieties of pheasant and waterfowl.