Wes Craven honored by former Audubon colleagues

Audubon California dedicates library in honor of the legendary filmmaker who supported the cause of birds until his passing last August.

Audubon President David Yarnold poses with Wes Craven's wife, Iya Labunka, and Audubon California Executive Director Brigid McCormack outside the newly dedicated Wes Craven Memorial Library at the Audubon Center at Debs Park in Los Angeles. Photo: Martha Benedict

Most of the world new Wes Craven as an innovative director and producer, but to those in the Audubon universe, he was also a dedicated advocate for birds and nature. When he passed away last August, he was a member of the Audubon California board of directors. Last week, former colleagues of Craven's joined with members of his family to celebrate his life by dedicating a library in his name at the Audubon Center at Debs Park. Craven had long been a supporter of the Center and its mission to connect the communities of Northeast Los Angeles to birds and nature.

Audubon President David Yarnold shares a memory of Wes Craven as members of Craven's family look on during the dedication of the Wes Craven Memorial Library at the Audubon Center at Debs Park last Friday. Photo: Martha Benedict

Audubon President David Yarnold attended the event to share his memories of working with Craven. Iya Labunka, Craven's wife, attended with other members of Craven's family.

Audubon chose the dedication at the Audubon Center at Debs Park because connecting children to nature was big priority for Craven, and he was a dedicated supporter of the Audubon Center at Debs Park in northeast Los Angeles. He worried that the tens of thousands of miles of concrete in Los Angeles distanced kids from the joys of nature.

“It’s difficult to get kids – particularly urban kids – interested in the natural world, because there’s so much concrete around them, so many distractions, such as television,” Craven said in 2010. “But it’s tremendously important to help kids make that connection to nature, and the folks at Audubon California are serious about doing it.”

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