The Illinois Audubon Society lost a valued friend last week with the passing of Marilyn Campbell. Marilyn’s commitment to the Society was enormous. She served on the Illinois Audubon Society Board from 1988 to 1993, including serving as President for two years from 1992-1993. From 1994 to 2006 she served as the Executive Director for the Society and upon stepping down as ED, she became the editor of our magazine from 2006-2013.
Marilyn’s first few years as Executive Director were focused on modernizing the Society – moving to a computer based accounting system, restructuring chapter qualifications, and rewriting our bylaws, policies and procedures. She also worked hard on improving relations between the Society and our Chapters. It was also during Marilyn’s time as Executive Director that the Society expanded our niche to include land acquisition. Beginning in 1998 with the purchase of Karcher’s Post Oak Woods Nature Preserve in Hamilton County, the Society would invest more than $3,000,000 to acquire 15 parcels totaling 1,133 acres under Marilyn’s tenure as Executive Director.
Marilyn was deeply committed to conservation. She was a birder as well but often spoke of the need for birders to get involved in conservation, “otherwise, we may one day have few birds to watch.”
In 1992 Marilyn wrote that “Organizations have many members, but it is usually only a few who have true commitment to a dream…” For over 25 years, Marilyn had commitment to the dream that is the Illinois Audubon Society and birds, wildlife, and habitats in the state are better off as a result of her efforts. Download more details on the life of Marilyn Campbell from a recent article honoring her many contributions.
Marilyn had requested that there not be a service. Plans for a celebration of life are under development and we will pass along more information as it becomes available.