DAMARISCOTTA — Mid-Coast Audubon recently welcomed Dennis McKenna to the board of directors. He has enjoyed the study of birds as an avocation for the past 56 years. Usually one can point to an individual who encouraged such a lifetime interest and he is no exception. In his case it was Dorothy Snyder, who was the curator of Natural History at the Peabody Museum in Salem, Mass. She took an interest in Dennis and his boyhood friend, Chris Leahy, encouraging them to accompany her on weekend trips to Massachusetts birding hot spots like Plum Island and Cape Ann, but as he recalled, “We always had to be back by 1 p.m. on Sunday so she could watch the New York Giants on TV!”
After a career in the U.S. Navy, McKenna returned to Massachusetts to attend the state university in Amherst. He graduated in 1985 with a degree in health care administration. He and his family lived in Amherst for the next 27 years as he administered long-term care facilities from Worcester to Pittsfield. During his time in western Massachusetts, McKenna was on the board of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment for approximately 13 years and was a long time board member of the Hampshire Bird Club including a two-year stint as its president.
After retirement in 2009, McKenna and his wife, Kathleen, relocated to Damariscotta. He volunteers one afternoon a week at the Damariscotta River Association and as needed in the Skidompha Library’s used bookstore in Damariscotta.
McKenna will lead a Mid-Coast Audubon birding trip to Reid State Park on Saturday, April 9. Pack a lunch and meet at the Hannaford parking lot in Damariscotta at 7:30 a.m. for carpooling, or
call John Weinrich at 563-2930 for more information. The trip is free to the public.
For more information, visit www.midcoastaudubon.org.