Summer 2015 – Summer time has arrived at the shore – and it is a welcome arrival indeed. The Institute has shifted into summer mode and as I write these musings, the marsh and the Institute are a whirlwind of activity. The birds are nesting everywhere – on the grounds, in the surrounding marsh, and at both of the avian restoration projects that we are working on. The horseshoe crabs are actively spawning on Delaware Bay Beaches and the reTurn the Favor program is in full swing with staff and volunteers out rescuing stranded horseshoe crabs. Our goal is to far surpass the 30,000 crabs saved last year. Of course, the warm weather brings diamondback terrapins out of the marsh and up to higher ground to lay eggs keeping our Turtle Patrols very busy.
The summer, with all of its excitement and renewed energy, reminds me how grateful I am for the amazing wetlands and all that live here and visit here. That includes you! We honor your commitment, generosity and your investment in our mission. It is with that spirit that we are honoring our donors in some new ways. The Herbert Mills Legacy Society recognizes those individuals who have notified us of their intentions to name The Institute in their will, trust, or other estate plan. Formerly, simply the Legacy Society, the new Herbert Mills Legacy Society is a tribute to our founder and is open to anyone naming the Institute regardless of bequest amount.
The Institute is pleased to create a new Loyalty Society. The Loyalty Society recognizes those individuals that have made a gift to the Institute, in any amount, for the past 10 consecutive years. We are thrilled to count more than 400 friends in the Loyalty Society. Thanks to all of you for your sustained support.
Finally, we have created a new membership category at the Institute. Lifetime membership is for members that seek to join us at the highest level or for a select group of members whose commitment and belief in the mission and goals of this Institute is apparent in all they do. The Board of Trustees appointed the first class of Lifetime members at their May board meeting.
We hope that these new recognition programs are a fitting way to honor the donors that hold us dear. These donors, along with so many others, were officially recognized at our annual donor recognition event at the end of June. If you have made provisions for the Institute in your estate plan please let us know so we can thank you properly and welcome you into the Herbert Mills Legacy Society. And to everyone that supports what we do – in your own way – we thank you. You are the reason that we Make No Small Plans and are well on our way to becoming a center of excellence for research, conservation, and education!