Flyway Feast provides financial
Back Bay restoration bounty


By Janet Yarbrough Meyer

PRINCESS ANNE - Early day storms couldn't drench the spirits of 450 people who trekked to the Flyway Feast, the Back Bay Restoration Foundation's major fund-raiser and membership drive.

Held at the mouth of the North Landing River and Currituck Sound In North Carolina, the circa 1920s Flyway Hunt Club served as the backdrop for the 16th annual feast June 23. Visitors feasted on barbecue, fresh corn and watermelon while raising funds for the nonprofit organization's work.

The foundation's ongoing projects include monthly water-quality testing of bay water, cleaning out wood duck nesting boxes at False Cape State Park, setting up osprey platforms and running an environmentally friendly tram from Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge to False Cape State Park, The 700-member foundation also offers programs to educate tourists on how fragile the environment is and its importance to birds on the Atlantic flyway, said Eve Estes Butts, foundation director.

All of those activities are done by volunteers.

Art teacher Suzanne Stevens of Norfolk is among those volunteers. She did an original pastel print titled "Back Bay Snows," depicting Back Bay in the winter, which was featured during the Flyway Feast auctions.

Because the picture exemplifies Back Bay's beauty, Stevens suggested to Bulls that the foundation reproduce it as a poster and sell it to make money for their programs.

Stevens had already seen The International Arts Festival do that with another of her works and thought the same concept would work for the Back Bay Restoration Foundation. Organizers liked the idea, so that's what they did.

"I am very pleased that I am a part of this, because if there is any way my work can help the Earth, I will support that. I've had people In my life be generous with me, and I want to pass that along to others," Stevens said.

The 18-by-24-inch poster can be purchased from the foundation for $15 for an unsigned copy, or $20 for a signed one. The poster will serve as the foundation's signature print, Butts said.

With the event over for another year, Butts anticipates revenues from this year's Flyway Feast will match or exceed the $22,000 raised last year. With a growing need to educate the public about the 8,000 acres encompassed by Back Bay, what cannot be raised through events like the feast will have to come from grants. Before the day was over, however, attendees learned the foundation had just received a $6,000 grant from the Department of Forestry to promote education programs.

"With this money we should be able to get a new laptop and maybe implement more water education, like canoeing," Butts said. "When we have the resources, there is so much we can do."

For more information about the Back Bay Restoration Foundation or its poster call 426-3643 or visit www.bbrf.org

This poster can be purchaed for $20 by contacting Suzanne. All proceeds benefit the Restoration Foundation

Back Bay Snows