“I have had the most incredible experience anyone could have in a professional life. I have been given opportunities to make a bit of a difference on behalf of the critters with whom we share this planet.” - David Henderson
The Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary is not only celebrating its 35th anniversary this year but also its official groundbreaking of a new pavilion in honor of former Audubon executive director, David Jay Henderson.
Gifted in 1983 to the National Audubon Society by the heirs of Randall Davey and through influence of the late Terry Hershey—a leading woman conservationist throughout the Southwest—the Center & Sanctuary is an important education facility and wildlife sanctuary in New Mexico seeing over 10,000 visitors annually and educating over 4,000 school children and adults a year.
Rich with history, land, and wildlife, the Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary provides Audubon with the platform to deliver top-notch experiential nature-based science education programs. Serving students in Santa Fe Public Schools, schools in nearby communities including neighboring Pueblos, summer camp children ages 4 through 12, and public programs such as guided bird walks, Davey house history tours, and special events, each and every person is provided with a one-of-a-kind experience the minute their feet touch the ground. The Center also has public access trails that twist and turn through varying habitats and beautiful gardens. The Center also houses a visitor’s center and the state offices of Audubon New Mexico (ANM).
Honoring David Jay Henderson and Preserving His Conservation Legacy.
David arrived at the Randall Davey Audubon Center from California in 1985 as the first permanent director of the Center and the Audubon state office. Almost 25 years later, he became vice president of the National Audubon Society. He immediately set out to make friends and build support for wildlife protection and education around the state. Under his leadership and with his passion for wildlife, Audubon New Mexico (ANM) has grown into a highly respected voice for conservation and nature education.
Through David’s tireless efforts for over 25 years, the Mexican Gray Wolf roams again in New Mexico. Reptiles and amphibians have legislative protection. Wildlife has a strong voice in state policy, and more than 60 Important Bird Areas have been designated in our state. Today, children and people learn the importance of nature through our community nature-based science education on trails and in classrooms throughout the state. Thank you, Mr. Henderson!
New David Jay Henderson Pavilion
The construction of a new pavilion furthers ANM’s mission (Working to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.), and pays tribute to Mr. Henderson. Because of his dedication, ANM is thriving, active, engaged, growing and continuing to protect our precious natural heritage.
The pavilion will serve as an educational hub and community space for Santa Fe area residents and visitors throughout the state, nation and world. “The new Pavilion will provide a venue for lectures, seminars, trainings, and classes aimed at promoting the love of nature and the need to conserve it,” said Jon Hayes, executive director of ANM. “We believe that learning is a lifelong endeavor and it’s important to ensure that people of all ages have the opportunity to be well informed about the natural world and the wonders in it, and we are proud to provide a hub for these experiences at the Center in Santa Fe.” ANM also imagines a setting that honors nature, where our community will gather to celebrate—at family picnics, birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries and other memorable occasions.
On May 23, 2018, symbolic with Randall Davey’s 131st birthday, we officially celebrated the groundbreaking of the David Jay Henderson Pavilion. Attended by the members of the Henderson family, ANM board of directors, and distinguished government officials (U.S. Senator Udall’s staff, U.S. Representative Lujan’s staff, N.M House of Representatives Speaker of House Egolf’s staff, Santa Fe City Councilor Peter Ives, Santa Fe County Commissioner, Ed Moreno) supporters, neighbors, and guests, we celebrated the conservation legacy of a great leader, and established new roots to further fulfill our mission. Because of generous contributions and volunteer support from individuals and foundations, Audubon has a good reason to be thankful for 35 years and for the years that lie ahead, beginning with the groundbreaking and construction of the new pavilion.
“Increased opportunities for science education for our students provides a valuable resource to young New Mexicans by instilling in them the importance of preserving our native wildlife and ecosystems,” said U.S. House Representative Ben Ray Lujan. “That education does not stop in the classroom. The development of a facility like the David Jay Henderson Pavilion will give visitors new opportunities to educate our community, promote a love of nature, and collaborate about new ways to conserve it. These efforts will certainly lead to more young people pursuing science and conservation careers, and result in healthier lands and wildlife for our state.”
We are privileged to have a steadfast team of loyal supporters and members along with generous donors that help us carry out our mission and provide educational opportunities and community gatherings at the Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary today and in the future.
If you are interested in giving to the construction of the new pavilion, please contact ANM’s executive director, Jon Hayes at 505.983.4609 ext. 22.