Annual Spring Gathering

2022 Spring Gathering and

April 22-24, 2022
Allerton Park & Retreat Center,
Monticello, Illinois
Registration is Closed



Celebrating our Past, Focusing on our Future

The Saturday, April 23, evening presentation at the 2022 Spring Gathering will celebrate our past and bring inspiration to our future. We will learn about the early days of the Illinois Audubon Society as told by Robert Ridgway, portrayed by Brian “Fox” Ellis. Robert Ridgway (1850-1929) was an Illinois native who served as the first full-time curator of birds at the now Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He systematized the color names for describing birds and was a prolific illustrator and author, including numerous articles for The Audubon Bulletin, precursor of Illinois Audubon magazine. Ellis, of Bishop Hill, is an internationally acclaimed author, storyteller, historian and naturalist.

Paul Ritter, portraying himself, will bring us back to the present and look towards the future. As a science teacher at Pontiac Township High School, Ritter has guided his students in development of award-winning, internationally recognized programs, including the National Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal Program Network and Operation Endangered Species. Ritter received the 2014 White House Presidential Award for Innovation in Environmental Education and the 2011-2012 National Environmental Science Teacher of the Year award.