Woodinville resident Jim Rettig has been honored as the Eastside Audubon Society’s 2012 Environmentalist of the Year for his leadership in habitat conservation and citizen science during more than two decades.
Among the most visible results of Jim’s work are improvements to the Audubon BirdLoop at Marymoor Park in Redmond.
When Eastside Audubon received stewardship of the area in partnership with King County Parks in 2006, Rettig became the chapter’s project manager. Since then he has been a tireless organizer of BirdLoop habitat and infrastructure improvement projects and the fundraising to support them.
Results include expanded trails, refurbished boardwalks, interpretive signs and information kiosks. As monthly work parties continue to remove invasive plants and restore native habitat, he is reliably first on hand with shovel and clippers. Marymoor visitors can experience the effects of the work Jim has led by walking the Audubon BirdLoop.
Rettig has been involved for five years with Save Our Swifts (SOS), a regional group dedicated to the study and preservation of Vaux’s Swifts. With Jim as liaison, Eastside Audubon is a co-sponsor of Swift Night Out, an outdoor family event held each September.
Rettig has been a legislative advocate for birds and the environment and a champion of citizen science programs such as Project FeederWatch, a nationwide bird census. Since joining Eastside Audubon in 1989, Jim has been president and served multiple terms on the board.
An avid mountain hiker and retired pastor, he is inspired by what he sees as “the interconnectedness and balance of all things.” A love of birds has led him to travel internationally with his wife, Jan, and to read widely.
“The more I read about birds and plants and bacteria and insects and animals, the more I am amazed at the interrelationships that are always going on and that keep our planet healthy,” Jim says.