Jamestown, N.Y. – One of the bright lights in the region’s community leadership is ready to pass her professional torch to a successor.

Ruth Lundin, President of Audubon Community Nature Center (ACNC) for almost two decades, has told Audubon’s Board of Directors that she will retire as soon as they secure her replacement.

Coming from the Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm near Dayton, Ohio, Lundin was selected from among 68 applicants. She assumed her responsibilities at ACNC in March, 1999, and in the years since, Audubon has flourished under her leadership.

A few of the highlights over these years include: the welcoming of Liberty, a non-releasable Bald Eagle, to the Nature Center; the expansion of the education staff and thousands of hours logged annually by volunteers; the development of the Education Master Plan and expanding education programs throughout Chautauqua and Warren Counties; growth to more than 35,000 individual contacts each year, including over 1000 programs for nearly 17,000 student contacts; and the formal adoption of the Audubon Community Nature Center name, with its accompanying new mission, vision, and belief statements, slogan, graphics, and website.

Lundin also served on the Board of Directors of the national Association of Nature Center Administrators, including a term as president.

After almost two decades as President of Audubon Community Nature Center, Ruth Lundin will be retiring when Audubon’s board hires her successor.

Of her decision, Lundin said, “I am excited with the direction and the strength of Audubon Community Nature Center.  We have excellent people at all levels of the organization – members, volunteers, staff, and Board of Directors.  With the many opportunities that exist, I am confident that the organization is well positioned to flourish. Taking a leap forward requires energetic, creative and insightful leadership, dedicated to the long-term vision for the organization. It is a perfect time for a new person to begin the transition to the next phase.”

The ACNC Chairman’s Award is presented annually to a person or organization that has demonstrated exemplary service in nature education. At the 2013 Annual Dinner and Volunteer Recognition, Lundin received this award for her unflagging support of all things Audubon.

Lundin concluded, “I have always said that Jamestown was the first place I have ever lived where I had the strong feeling that ‘This is home. I want to retire here.’ It is now time for me to exercise that opportunity.”

Audubon Board Chair Pierre Chagnon said, “The Board of Directors has formed a Search Committee composed of board members, staff, and key Audubon volunteers. We are charged with the responsibility of finding an extraordinary person to carry on Ruth’s legacy of leadership to the organization and in the community. It is our honor to help celebrate Ruth’s upcoming retirement!”

Chagnon said the Search Committee’s goal is to have the job posting complete and distributed by mid-January, when it can be found on Audubon’s website, auduboncnc.org.

With more than five miles of beautifully maintained trails, Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, N.Y., and Warren, Pa. Its three-story building contains interactive displays, a collection of live animals, and the Blue Heron Gift Shop.

Year-round hours for the Nature Center are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 1-4:30 p.m. Sundays. The building will be closed December 24 and 25 and January 1. Bald Eagle viewing and trails to walk, snowshoe or cross country ski are open dawn to dusk daily.

To learn more about Audubon and its many programscall (716) 569-2345 during business hours or visit auduboncnc.org.

Audubon Community Nature Center builds and nurtures connections between people and nature by providing positive outdoor experiences, opportunities to learn about and understand the natural world, and knowledge to act in environmentally responsible ways.