All-Star Salute

GINTC ALL-STAR SALUTE

Congratulations to GINTC’s 2020 All-Stars! We are ever grateful for these people, projects and partners who join previous Annual Awards Alumni to make our future bright!

Steve Alexander

GINTC Service Award

“Galveston Island is known for its wide beach playground and its many historic treasures. But it’s also one of the state’s most beautiful and ecologically diverse areas on the coast. The Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council helps shine a light on this natural beauty, educating residents and visitors alike and guiding them to the places where they can experience nature firsthand.“

Steve is the author of GINTC’s popular Nature Blogs featured on our website as well as Galveston.com. As a marine biologist, he’s an inspired leader of GINTC Nature Walks at the East End Lagoon Nature Preserve. He and fellow All Star award-winner Kristen Vale were expert on-camera contributors to the David Lukas videoA Naturalist Explores: Galveston Island. Steve is also the author of Exploring Galveston: A Naturalist’s Guide to the Island, which provides a guided tour of the best natural wonders of the Island and Bolivar Peninsula. He is a Texas Master Naturalist, serves on the board of GINTC, and is past president of the Friends of Galveston Island State Park.

The Bryan Museum

GINTC Partnership Award

“The Bryan Museum, GINTC and Houston Audubon partnered to celebrate nature – and history – through The Lost Bird Project exhibition. It was the first time we had worked together, and it was a reminder of the power of partnerships. We’re all lucky to have GINTC as a tireless advocate for the natural world and its preservation and conservation in Galveston.” – Joan Marshall, Bryan Museum Executive Director

GINTC partnered with The Bryan Museum and Houston Audubon to bring The Lost Bird Project traveling exhibit to Galveston. The five life-size bronze statues set throughout the museum gardens are representative of the other permanent Lost Bird Project sculptures located throughout North America. This exhibit, combined with the Eskimo Curlew Memorial Sculpture in Galveston Island State Park, offers Island residents and visitors a rare opportunity to view the entire Lost Bird Project in one city. The Museum created a virtual tour of the exhibit, enabling existing and new audiences across the globe to view the majestic statues and learn of the exhibit’s powerful message. The Bryan also has incorporated bird-related activities into their programming, such as hosting free social media streaming events of films including The Lost Bird Project; From Billions to None: A Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction; and Birders: The Central Park Effect.

Don Wilkerson

GINTC Service Award

“GINTC plays a special role in our community by conducting a variety of outreach programs and activities that connect people with our coastal environment. Their coordination of Galveston’s Lost Bird Project focuses attention on the importance of conservation and protection of the natural ecosystem.”

Don is a Texas Master Naturalist and an avid paddler. He regularly leads kayak tours through Galveston Island State Park, as he is familiar with the flora and fauna commonly seen there.  He has led FeatherFest kayak trips and served as a festival field trip liaison for close to 10 years. He also has worked with GINTC behind-the-scenes on special event online registration process design and creation of registration documents and companion pieces. As a nature enthusiast, he often volunteers for activities maintaining habitat, monitoring coastal species, and helping educate others about the importance of the ecosystem. For several years, he also led Galveston Island State Park’s birding survey program in cooperation with Audubon’s Texas Estuarine Resource Network (TERN).

The Lost Bird Project

GINTC Nature Award

“Thanks to GINTC and other partners, The Lost Bird Project found the perfect place for our 6th sculpture, the Eskimo Curlew Memorial. This is a significant step forward in helping people remember what we have lost, and I am grateful to GINTC for its initiative and stewardship in bringing the Eskimo Curlew home.” Todd McGrain, Project Founder and Sculptor

The Lost Bird Project by sculptor Todd McGrain brings awareness to our community about the value of the Island’s natural habitat. It also fosters a deeper appreciation of our numerous and varied natural assets. The Lost Bird Project gives GINTC visibility on a broad stage, as Galveston’s permanent Eskimo Curlew sculpture is one of six installations across North America memorializing birds that are no longer with us. The entire project and its message came “to life” in our community this spring through the Eskimo Curlew statue installation at the Galveston Island State Park and The Lost Bird traveling exhibition at The Bryan Museum.

 

Kristen Vale

GINTC Nature Service Award

“GINTC genuinely cares about nature and all who enjoy it, and the community is fortunate to have such a great organization on the Island providing nature tourism in a sustainable way.”

“They work effortlessly behind the scenes and host multiple events that bring people together from the local community, out of town, and even from out of the country to enjoy all the wonders the Island has to offer. I have made some great friends through GINTC and am grateful for their contributions to the community.”

Kristen serves with GINTC on the Park Board’s Birding Task Force as well as the East End Lagoon Advisory Committee. She is also part of GINTC’s Galveston Bird City Texas application team. She was a member of GINTC’s 2019 Great Texas Birding Classic Big Day, served as Captain for our 2019 Great Texas Birding Classic Big Sit, and was one of our Holiday with the Cranes birding leaders last year. As Texas Coastal Program Coordinator of the American Bird Conservancy, and through a partnership with Houston Audubon and the Galveston Park Board, Kristen monitors and protects nesting birds at East Beach and San Luis Pass.