The 2014 President's Award winner is Mary Fredricks. Mary began taking nature photographs in 2010 and purchased her first fungi guidebook the following year. She explored the nature parks and then began to attend our walks. Since then things have just ‘mushroomed’ for her. She began sharing her expertise on our nature walks and then began to lead some of them. Thanks to her knowledge, and interest we now have Friends of Fungi, a sub-group under the Royal Oak Nature Society. They have their own programs and nature walks. They explore the many different types of fungi and slime molds found in the Royal Oak parks and surrounding area. The Friends of Fungi held its first walk in July 2013 and began having indoor programs in November 2013. We thank Mary for her willingness to share her love of and knowledge of fungi.
2014 Chinquapin Award Winner is Nicole Murawski: Nicole teaches Earth Science and Physics at Royal Oak High School. For the past four years, Nicole has the Nature Society walk her Earth Science class from the High School to Dragonfly Pond in Tenhave Woods During the walk between the school and Tenhave, a running discussion on the geographical and human history of the land both the school and the woods is on occurs. At Dragonfly Pond, we have discussions on vernal ponds the life found within them and their ecological position they occupy in the natural world. Nicole has also been sending student to science related programs throughout the community for extra credit. The Nature Societies programs fall within this group and due to this we have had a large increase in the number of High School age people attending. One of the main goals of the Royal Oak Nature Society is to provide education on the local natural world to the public. Nicole has been one of those helping us to further that work.