2018 Awards

The President's Award winner for 2018 is Miner’s Den

Miners Den has been a supporter of the Nature Society for as long as we have been requesting donations from local businesses.  They have also been a sponsor at our Annual Fundraisers since the beginning.  They have always given us incredible items to auction off and usually more than one.  When we had table sponsors, Miner's Den generously provided gift packages for each guest at the table they sponsored.   Miners Den is more than a local business, they are members of our community.  We thank Miner’s Den for their support.

The Chinquapin Award winners for 2018 are Laura Gogola, Laurine Cybulski and Mary Kleiss

These 2018 Chinquapin Awards were given to Laura Gogola and Laurine Cybulski (aka "The Frog Ladies").  They studied the frogs of Dragonfly Pond in Tenhave Woods from 2013 to 2017. Photo on your right is Laurine and Laura receiving their award.  Trained at the Amphibian Conservation Center at the Detroit Zoo, they learned the calls of 13 species of frogs and toads. During the five year study they identified six species: American Toad, Eastern Gray Tree Frog, Cope's Tree Frog, Green Frog, Spring Peeper, and Western Chorus Frog. Many of these species are difficult to see during the day and were not recorded in the park. The two tree frogs are only separated by their calls. So before this study, we knew we had tree frogs but not that we had both species.

   Amphibians are declining across North America. They serve as indicator species for a healthy environment and are often the first species to react to negative changes. If someone could continue this important monitoring work it might alert us to shifts in the health of our forest. This is a great example of how amateur naturalists can contribute to science. If someone wishes to continue this work, the Detroit Zoo offers training each winter.  We thank Laura and Larine for their dedicated work.

This 2018 Chinquapin Award is given to a long time Royal Oak Nature Society member and friend, Mary Kleiss.  Mary has been an avid supporter of the Society almost from the start.  She has always joined in our activities whenever she was able.  Her life has been filled with challenges that required great inner strength.  She has still given of herself to the Nature Society in so many important ways.  She regularly attends our programs at the Middle School.  She has enthusiastically volunteered at Dream Cruise Parking and for our annual fundraiser.  Mary is an accomplished gardener whose knowledge has been so helpful in identifying plants found in our woods.  She also contributes potted plants from her garden as items for the Fundraiser – always favorite items.  For a few years she coordinated all the food for the fundraiser very successfully.  When she was able, she agreed to be an At-Large member of our Board of Directors, where her opinions and contributions were welcomed and appreciated.  Mary’s daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter have followed her example in volunteering at the fundraiser as well.  Many of us are proud to consider her our dear friend.  All her contributions to the Royal Oak Nature Society have been so important to our continued success.