Santa Barbara Audubon Society Bids Fond Farewell to Longtime President Darlene Chirman

Whether it was for the “50th Anniversary” bash, Darlene Chirman’s farewell or the wonderful weather, 125-plus members of the Santa Barbara Audubon Society and guests gathered June 29 under the shade trees at Stow Grove Park and spent a lively afternoon visiting, eating and celebrating.

Three large tables barely accommodated all of the picnic potluck dishes and brought folks back for more than a second helping.

In celebration of the “50th,” we were blessed to have several of our founding members present. They enthusiastically shared stories of “how it all began” and memories of political activism on behalf of birds and their habitat.

There were “50th” T-shirts and hats to buy, silent auction items to bid on, and Glendessary Jam’s toe-tapping music to enjoy.

Before the brief Annual Meeting (board candidates elected by vote of the SBAS members present), Chirman’s leadership and extraordinary work to restore natural landscapes were recognized by laudatory resolutions from the U.S. House of Representatives, the State of California, Santa Barbara County and the Goleta City Council.

National and California Audubon societies sent congratulations. Santa Barbara County Supervisor Janet Wolf spoke touchingly of Chirman’s impressive achievements on behalf of us all.

Our farewell was capped with an unrehearsed singing of “Goodbye, Darlene” (aka “Good Night, Irene”) and the chapter’s gift of a John Iwerks painting of Arroyo Hondo Preserve. The preserve announced it will name a trail after Chirman in gratitude for her decade of work there. See the next issue of El Tecolote for photos and more details.

If you left anything at the picnic area, contact Dolores Pollock for your “lost and found” items by emailing

— Kristie Maingot is a publicity coordinator for the Santa Barbara Audubon Society.