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Refuge’s free lecture series to move to The Community House

By Staff | Aug 6, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Clyde and Niki Butcher will talk about the Everglades following the 2020 publication of Clyde’s latest photographic triumph and as a sneak peek to Niki’s refuge exhibition starting in November 2021.

Running from Jan. 29 through March 19, the 17th annual “Ding” Darling Friday Lecture Series will feature photographers Clyde and Niki Butcher, author Kirk W. Johnson, and eminent authorities on water conservation, eagles, owls and woodpeckers.

The series will evolve with the times and persisting distance protocols by moving to a larger venue, The Community House, at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel. The free lectures will occur on five select days throughout the season, with one 10 a.m. lecture per day.

“The uncertainties of COVID-19 challenged us to experiment with a new lecture series format so we could accommodate high-quality lecturers but still abide by new distancing guidelines,” series organizer and Refuge Nature Store Manager Ann-Marie Wildman said. “We would be very limited on how many we could seat at our usual venue in the ‘Ding’ Darling Visitor & Education Center auditorium, but The Community House gives us more latitude. So we’ve decided on fewer lectures with top-notch speakers.”

Seating is limited and available on a first-come basis. About 200 seats will be available.

Face masks will be required.

The complete schedule is as follows:

– Jan. 29: Ocean Doctor David E. Guggenheim, “Water Conservation”

– Feb. 4: Photographers Clyde and Niki Butcher, “The Everglades,” sponsored by Wayne and Linda Boyd*

– Feb. 19: Author Jack Davis, “Eagles”*

– March 12: Author Paul Bannick, “Owls and Woodpeckers”*

– March 19: Author Kirk W. Johnson, “Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century”*

*book signing to follow

For lectures with book signings, books will be available for purchase that day.

The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge will film most of the lectures, as well as broadcast them on Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/dingdarling.

Sponsors are still needed for the Jan. 29, Feb. 19, March 12 and March 19 lectures. For more information, call April Boehnen at 239-472-1100 Ext. 4 or Birgie Miller at 239-472-1100 Ext. 232.

For more about the lecturers, visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/lecture-and-film-series.