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Founders' Award

Bird Fest

Karen Haire

Karen Haire

Karen Haire is the recipient of 2022 Founders’ Award for Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest (LSBF) as a volunteer. 

She is a long term resident of Leavenworth, who chose to move here because she loves the outdoors. Beside the attraction of river rafting and rock climbing, she was drawn to the Leavenworth area because of the many opportunities to observe a wide variety of bird species.

She was a member of the original Bird Fest committee, who brainstormed about creating a new type of festival in Leavenworth which focused on birds and their connection to the land. This included highlighting specific target species which are not so available in other places, such as the White-headed woodpecker, Veery, Gray Catbird, American Dipper, and Western Tanager. Part of this vision was to create field trips with fewer participants who could traverse the habitat and approach closer to the birds they were observing. The LSBF 2003 Steering Committee hired Karen Haire and Maggie McManus to be codirectors of the inaugural festival.

Karen felt a strong desire for LSBF to collaborate between local businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies (such as the US Forest Service and the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery) and students. Her sales acumen helped to connect businesses with particular “mascot” bird species in this area, bringing them on board for our local festival.

She created and led the "Birding by Mountain Bike” field trip for LSBF.  She also led several other field trips during Bird Fest, including:

  • Birding by River Raft.
  • ADA trips at Fish Hatchery that included wheelchair bound participants
  • Beginning Birding at Blackbird Island
  • Sauer’s Mountain Birding and Wild Flowers

Karen was instrumental in helping design the festival catalogs, flyers and the website and in recruiting capable guides to bring the festival to life and spread the word about how much natural ecosystems could contribute to the valley’s attractiveness and long term sustainability.