Dear Graham: It is with great pride that I announce that the Lower Providence Township’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the Land Development Plan for the John James Audubon Center at its meeting yesterday. While this is not the only required approval in our march towards building the new Center for Art and Conservation, it is unquestionably the most important. This vote, which included waiving a number of Township fees normally charged to this type of project, clearly demonstrates the local community’s embrace of Mill Grove.
This milestone comes as the design professionals are finalizing the construction documents. The CountyCommissioners are expected to approve the project for bidding on September 22, and award the final contract by the end of November.
Next step…Groundbreaking! On Friday, December 2, you will be invited to join officials from Montgomery County and National Audubon Society to put the ceremonial first shovel in the ground. This event will take place at 11:00 a.m. and will be followed by a special lunch with Roberta J.M. Olson, Ph.D., Curator of Drawings at The New-York Historical Society and America’s most prominent Audubon historian. Formal invitations will be coming…please save the date.
The good news doesn’t stop! This summer the Center has received several new major gifts towards the capital campaign, as well as commitment of original works of art by Alice Sharp. Mrs. Sharp’s finely detailed drawings of bird feathers were recently featured in an exhibit at the Berman Museum of Art. We also received an operating grant from the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission, and word of another grant to support canoeing on the Perkiomen – a program that saw a 38% increase in attendance this summer. Finally, Audubon Pennsylvania has just announced the appointment of Greg H. Goldman as Vice President and Executive Director. Greg most recently served as Vice President, Development for the Philadelphia Zoo, where he oversaw the completion of the $32 million campaign for KidZooU. Among his many duties with Audubon, Greg will serve on the John James Audubon Center Advisory Board.
As an investor in the John James Audubon Center for Art and Conservation, I want you to be confident everything is moving forward, and to understand how incredibly grateful we continue to be for your early support of our vision.