Jo Ann Green Environmental Award

Friends of Cortes Island is delighted to announce that the winners of the Jo Ann Green Environmental Award 2023 are Laurel Bohart and Donna Collins.

(Donna Collins and Laurel Bohart are long-time Cortes Island Museum board members. They both dedicate most of their energy to the Wild Cortes Natural History Centre, a satellite exhibit of the Cortes Island Museum.)

The award recognizes Cortes Islanders who have made significant contributions to the environmental well-being of the community.

Congratulations to Laurel and Donna for all of their fabulous work and dedication in making the Wild Cortes Exhibit at the Museum such a success. Here is their nomination in full:

Laurel Bohart and Donna Collins, in their volunteer roles, are breathing life into the Wild Cortes Exhibit.

Laurel and Donna have put countless hours into displays and staffing of the Wild Cortes Exhibit as the one satellite exhibit of the Cortes Island Museum & Archives. This ensures that visitors and residents are ensured a glimpse into the natural history of Cortes Island.

The Wild Cortes Exhibit is a hugely important asset to the well-being and educational needs of the Cortes community. During the summer months, many visitors visit the exhibit with frequent repeats from year to year.

Laurel is entirely responsible for all the taxidermy mounts in the exhibit, with an overflow of mounts into her home and freezer; Laurel is the sole curator of the “Raven’s Relations” exhibit.

Laurel provides live demonstrations on stages of the taxidermy process, and at times, offers educational classes for school students.

Laurel is also an avid birder and frequently receives frozen bird samples for identification and expanding the exhibits. Laurel has volunteered in this capacity for well over 10 years.

Donna more recently moved to Cortes, and she took over the much-needed lead management of the Wild Cortes Exhibit after Lynne Jordon moved off the island. Donna offers administrative and creative energy into new exhibits and the weekly operations of Wild Cortes, and jokes about this space being her home away from home.


Donna and Laurel in conversation with Roy Hales of Cortes Currents