AVEO joins the Harris Center for Conservation Education

September 15, 2010   |   David Moon

It is with great excitement and a sense of accomplishment that we announce that the Ashuelot Valley Environmental Observatory and the Harris Center for Conservation Education have entered a partnership to strengthen our shared work of conservation and education in the Monadnock Region. After careful deliberations by the staff and boards of both AVEO and the Harris Center, it has become clear that both organizations can benefit greatly by combining our work and resources. We have therefore decided to join forces, with AVEO becoming a program of the Harris Center.

This idea has drawn strong financial support from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the Putnam Foundation, and individual donors. As we announce this development, we are confident that we can build on their generous initial contributions to do something even more wonderful:

We’re bringing Brett Amy Thelen back to run AVEO’s programs!

We are so delighted that Brett will be coming back to direct AVEO’s tried-and-true programs (kicking off with the Salamander Crossing Brigades in Spring 2011!), and to create exciting new opportunities for local citizens to help protect nature in the coming year(s).

Craig Stockwell, president of the AVEO Board of Directors, shares:

“This is a terrific mesh of two great organizations and their missions. The stable platform that the Harris Center has developed over the past 40 years assures us that the work of AVEO will continue sustainably as part of the Harris Center. We’re delighted that the Harris Center staff and board see the strong value that AVEO provides to our community and we’re ready to move forward.”

AVEO will continue to be based at Keene State College, thanks to the College’s generosity, and will continue to conduct an array of conservation-focused citizen science projects. All of us at AVEO are particularly grateful to Keene State, which has been AVEO’s host since soon after our formation. The College has generously offered to continue this relationship, and we look forward to continuing to engage students in real-world ecological research.

The decision to join AVEO with the Harris Center is rooted in what each organization brings to the success of the other. For AVEO, the Harris Center provides an outstanding platform for developing and expanding meaningful citizen science in the Monadnock Region. For the Harris Center, AVEO brings science-based programming and projects that engage adult and young learners alike.

When the recession began and we realized that it was time to consider a strategic partnership with a larger organization, we were delighted to discover how tremendously AVEO dovetails with the mission and strategic needs of the Harris Center. The Harris Center is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and is thrilled to be adding AVEO’s citizen science programs to the environmental education and land conservation efforts they are so rightly proud of.

While AVEO as an independent non-profit organization will dissolve, our board members and I have agreed to help guide its transition into a program of the Harris Center.

Additional information about this transition will soon appear in local papers, the Harris Center newsletters, and on the AVEO website (and we’ll certainly continue to update you as this partnership evolves!), but in the meantime, thank you, THANK YOU, for your continued loyalty, dedication, and support for our efforts to do the right thing for the natural world. We look forward to citizen science-ing with you well into the future!

warmest regards,
David Moon, former Executive Director, AVEO