CT Audubon celebrates Birdcraft centennial at holiday tea

Supporters of the Connecticut Audubon Society flocked to the annual holiday tea which this year marked the 100th birthday of the founding of the Birdcraft Museum and Sanctuary. The Dec. 6 event commemorated another significant historical milestone for the Fairfield community in a year with much to celebrate.

Guests were welcomed at the door by Kathy Van Der Aue of Southport posing in period dress as Mabel Osgood Wright, the naturalist, author, and conservation pioneer who was a founder of Birdcraft in 1914. The historic building was adorned with festive baskets of fresh holiday greens and a boutique of bird-themed ornaments and gifts that were available for purchase, offering an opportunity to further support the Connecticut Audubon Society’s educational programs.

Next to a multi-tiered birthday cake and plaque in memory of Mabel’s work and Birdcraft’s founding, guests sipped tea and delighted in an array of exquisite holiday treats prepared by the event committee led by Co-Chairs and Board Members Landon Storrs and Bonnie Hirschfield.

A highlight of the event was the chance to learn tea facts, history and tips in a presentation by Fairfield community partner and corporate sponsor Cindy Bigelow, President and CEO of the Bigelow Tea Company, which generously donated the tea for this occasion. Curious guests were also led through a demonstration about varieties of tea and were able to test and compare different samples.

Connecticut Audubon Society Director of Fairfield Operations Nelson North, says he is grateful for the overwhelming community support for this event. “It exemplifies the philanthropic nature of our community—from the many supporters who enthusiastically attended, to the generosity of our corporate sponsor Bigelow Tea, and to the dedicated volunteers and committee members who brought this event to life. It enables us to continue growing our mission of education and conservation far into the future. Birdcraft has been, and will continue to be, a great asset for Fairfield that draws educators, students and visitors from far and wide.”

When renovations are completed in early 2016, the museum will re-open with a state-of-the art environmental education center.

All proceeds from the tea will benefit the Connecticut Audubon Society’s educational programs in the Fairfield Region.

Milton the barn owl, a frequent attendee at Connecticut Audubon Society special events, is pictured with Teacher/Naturalist Jillian Maher, and Kathy Van Der Aue in period dress. Milton, one of Audubon’s resident educational birds, is a majestic, living reminder of why Mabel’s legacy is important to honor and preserve.

Milton the barn owl, a frequent attendee at Connecticut Audubon Society special events, is pictured with Teacher/Naturalist Jillian Maher, and Kathy Van Der Aue in period dress. Milton, one of Audubon’s resident educational birds, is a majestic, living reminder of why Mabel’s legacy is important to honor and preserve.

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