by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director

It’s 2019, and it’s a very special year for all of us at The Wetlands Institute. This is the year we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Institute’s founding. The milestone is providing a perfect opportunity for us to look back at the remarkable history of the organization and celebrate all the amazing people that have stewarded this great organization over all the hurdles, through the good times, and with great vision and integrity.

Dr. Wood with students during a Stone Harbor kindergarten terrapin release.

I have been pouring over and sorting through the historic documents and photographs that tell our story. The treasure trove comes from scrapbooks that folks before us assembled, from stacks of photographs that were tucked into various drawers at the Institute, and from items we found in various storage places at the Institute when I first arrived and we cleaned and inventoried. I recently was sent the “mother lode” of significant documents and photos from Herbert Mills daughter. My efforts at reviewing and cataloging those documents have been a great gift that has helped reshape some of my thinking about the Institute and the significance of its founding, its mission, and the accomplishments so far.

We are undertaking a major effort to digitize and scan these documents and photos and to archive the originals for posterity. We are putting together a detailed timeline of the grand steps along our journey and annotating it with meaningful documents and photographs. They will be placed on our website so they are readily accessible. I am pulling together a presentation on the history of the Institute that I will present initially at the Covered Dish Dinner on March 29th. It’s likely there will be a similar presentation later in the summer when more folks are in town.

We are planning a weekend of celebration with an open house on June 22-23 and will have many of these documents on display. There will be a timeline of the Institute history on display at the Institute throughout the summer as well.

2019 is a wonderful year to celebrate with us. If you haven’t been by in a while, it’s a great time to get reacquainted. If you have a story to share, photos, or any of the Institute’s history that you would like to share, please contact me. We are able to scan and return documents or pictures to you but would love to enrich our history with your contributions too.