Flying high on the success and momentum from the inaugural Maryland Osprey and Nature Festival, affectionally known as “MONF”, the Festival has been recognized by Congressman Steny Hoyer and Governor Larry Hogan.  Poised for growth, MONF announces the appointment of Chris McNelis and Tim Hansen to its Bird of Directors.

In a letter addressed to the Maryland Osprey and Nature Festival, State Representative Steny Hoyer congratulated and acknowledged the success of the Festival by stating, “Conservation is vitally important and each of you plays an integral role in ensuring these species and resources are protected for generations to come.  I send my wholehearted support as you continue to advocate on behalf of conservation. It is because of the steadfast resiliency [by the festival organizers] that we are raising awareness and joining hands to celebrate the best of what Maryland has to offer.”

Through a Citation, Governor Hogan also recognized the Maryland Osprey and Nature Festival, proclaiming “A grateful tribute to honor and commend the growth and success of the Maryland Osprey and Nature Festival held the first week annually in April, established to celebrate Maryland’s charismatic Ospreys and provide increased education, support, and funding for the benefit of conservation awareness; and as our citizens join in expressing our gratitude and sincere best wishes for continued success”.

To ensure that continued success, MONF has announced two new appointments to its Bird of Directors.  “As we prepare for an even better Festival next year, it’s imperative that we bring in dynamic, proven leaders who share in our vision of education, conservation, and celebration.  Chris and Tim, are uniquely qualified to take MONF to the next level.” Said Sal Icaza, MONF Founder, and Chair.

Chris McNelis is an Associate Broker & REALTOR® at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty and the Team Leader for McNelis & Associates real estate team. She is well-known throughout the region for her impeccable record of success, strong business acumen, and captivating personality.

Tim Hansen holds a B.A. Degree in Political Science from Washington State University and a B.S. in Fisheries Science from the University of Washington.  Mr. Hansen is an expert in seafood regulation, having served as Chief of the Policy Branch for the Office of Seafood of the Food and Drug Administration in Washington D.C. Tim is an avid outdoorsman and serves on the Board of Directors for the Drum Point Club.

MONF was created to celebrate our charismatic Ospreys and educate the public, agencies, and owners of structures to foster an attitude of co-existence and conservation awareness throughout the Bay region. Proceeds from the Festival go to non-profit organizations vested in protecting and conserving Ospreys, Bald Eagles, other wildlife, and natural areas of Maryland.  Our 2022 recipient was Owl Moon Raptor Center, a facility that rehabilitates injured raptors with the goal of releasing them into the wild.  The Maryland Bird Conservation Partnership is the fiscal host for the Maryland Osprey and Nature Festival.

Next year’s Maryland Osprey and Nature Festival will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at the Drum Point Club.  For more information visit www.marylandospreyfestival.org.


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