Volunteers with Audubon Society of Northern Virginia gathered on Sunday for a trash clean-up at Glencarlyn Park and to announce their Volunteer of the Year Award. Bill Young, a well-known local birder, writer, teacher and volunteer, received the award.
In accepting the award, Young said, “I deeply appreciate that ASNV has given me a platform to teach courses and has trusted me enough to stray outside the range of the typical offerings of an environmental organization. Some of the courses I’ve taught are about subjects such as birds and culture and birds and language and birds as symbols.”
He quoted the writer A.S. Neill, who wrote a book about an experimental school he started called Summerhill. Neill said, “Love and hate are not opposites, The opposite of love is indifference.” Young said the purpose of all of his activities has been to try to help people “to better understand the natural world and to move them from indifference about the natural world to love of the natural world.”
He concluded, “The environmental challenges we all face are very steep, and at times seem impossibly steep. But it’s important that we keep working together to try to move people from indifference to love.”
Young, an Arlington resident, is the author of “The Fascination of Birds: From the Albatross to the Yellowthroat.” His wide travels have taken him to birding hot spots around the world and provided the background for his many presentations around the area.Young is also the co-creator of MPNature.com website which is a comprehensive source of information for those who visit Monticello Park in Alexandria.