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Founders' Award

Bird Fest

Gail Roberts

Gail Roberts

Gail Roberts served as a key architect for six festivals, as the solo staff organizer. When the festival launched, Gail worked in her capacity as a U.S. Forest Service wildlife crew employee, planning and leading trips like the Owl Prowl. Later, she was hired to be the festival coordinator, following in the footsteps of Karen Haire, the first staff coordinator. Gail did every job that needed doing for months in advance to make the event a huge success. These jobs ranged from coordinating trip leaders and transportation, wrangling volunteers, signing up sponsors, and hanging yellow flags at businesses. Gail implemented publicity and took registration information via phone (before trips could be signed up for online). She was the first one to arrive, usually before 6:00 AM, and the last to leave Bird Fest Central every day during the event. Gail collaborated with local artists who created a Bird Art Walk Map and Tour, taught bird themed art classes to high school art students, designed t-shirts, and hung shows of student artwork. Gail was production manager, overseeing the printing of programs, maps, t-shirts and hats. Through her professional work, Gail advocated for birding within Chelan County's unique habitats. Gail Roberts laid the foundation to make a sustainable long-lived festival.