Each year during the annual general meeting, we recognize volunteers who have made a long-term contribution to the Couchiching Conservancy. These volunteers assist us in a number of ways every year. Some sit on the board of directors or on committees, while others do work in the field.
Volunteers play an important role in our success. In fact, the organization began as a 100% volunteer-run operation. As we grew over the past 20 years, staff were hired to fill core business roles and volunteers continued to be active and important to the work we do.
The majority of volunteers do in the field work. This year, we had 158 property team members who walked their assigned properties a few times per year to look for any changes. A number of team members learned how to use GPS to track invasive species such as garlic mustard and dog-strangling vine. In addition, volunteers helped build containers to recycle invasive species.
This year, we awarded four volunteers with gold conservancy pins and six volunteers with silver conservancy pins. (Next week’s column will have information on the silver-pin recipients.)
Following are the volunteers who received gold pins.
Isabelle Thiess: For years, Isabelle has given her time and energy to the Couchiching Conservancy. She has served on the board, as both director and president. During her tenure with the organization, she has served on numerous boards and committees and she continues to work on the past presidents council as well as other committees. Isabelle is always willing to help when needed, whether it’s writing policies or stuffing envelopes.
Mary Mick: Mary is one of our most dedicated volunteers. She leads the Grant’s Woods property team and served for several years as our volunteer co-ordinator. Mary can often be found in the forest at Grant’s Woods with her husband, Omer, ensuring the trails are in top condition for all of the visitors. She’s a go-to member of our team and we can’t thank her enough.
Bob Sullivan: Bob is an integral part of the conservancy operations. He has worked tirelessly for the organization, serving on the board as a director and president. He rolls up his sleeves and gets to work, always ready to do more. He has also played a leading role in developing the past presidents council and the Heartwood Fund.
Nathalie Rockhill: Nathalie has been a director and led the board as president. She is a leading fundraiser in the Carden Challenge year after year and has played a key role in the Carden Nature Festival. This year, she has taken on the task of programming the festival. Nathalie is also an active leader on the past presidents council and one of the first pledge donors to the Heartwood Fund.
Our thanks go to all of our volunteers. More than 250 helped this year.
Interested in volunteering for the Couchiching Conservancy? Click here.