Noella Storry has been a volunteer with The Couchiching Conservancy for over 7 years. During this time, she has filled many different volunteer roles including Property Team Leader (Prospect Marsh Nature Reserve) and Event Ambassador. Noella received a Gold Conservancy pin at the 2012 Annual General Meeting as a thank you for all of her efforts.
Your enthusiasm for The Couchiching Conservancy is contagious. Have you always loved the land and nature?
I am originally from the Whitby area where my brothers and I spent many hours exploring the wetlands of Lynn Creek Marsh and Lake Ontario. I moved to Orillia 28 years ago to get away from the growing city and raise my family. It wasn’t till joining the Conservancy that I really got back into “exploring” and getting back into nature.
My first visit to Grant’s Woods was with an Environmental Education class where Ron Reid gave us a wonderful presentation. I came away from that knowing that this organization was for me and have been a volunteer now for just over 7 years and look forward to many more!
You have filled many different volunteer positions such as Ambassador-attending events to promote awareness for The Couchiching Conservancy. Why do you enjoy this role?
The last event I attended was the Mariposa Folk Festival. I love interacting with people during the Ambassador events and being able to educate them about something that I am very passionate about – nature and the environment!
Do you have a favorite memory or experience?
I always enjoy all of our property visits as well as the events no matter what my “role”. My favorite was during a winter visit to Prospect Marsh Nature Reserve. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we had a large group of people. We were able to cross the marsh on the ice and get to an old rail bed at the back of the property. As this is basically inaccessible at any other time, our first visit was very exciting – lots of overgrown bushes, old railway ties and pieces of who knows what not to mention the fear of going through the ice into some very smelly marsh mud! As a Property Team Leader I have been able to learn so much from experts in the field. I have also discovered how amazingly varied different parts of our region are by going on some of the walks with other property teams.
Can you tell me a little bit about your involvement with The Carden Nature Festival?
I have marshaled events at the Carden Festival for 7 years and absolutely love it! This year, one of the events I marshaled was a reptile event with Jeff Hathaway. It is so awesome to go out with a group of people who are so passionate about nature. Though there is only one “leader” of the group, so often participants have very detailed knowledge of their particular passion which they share with the group…. Like walking with Wikipedia!
What do you wish other people knew about The Couchiching Conservancy?
Our goal…. to preserve natural places for future generations and also the habitat that the animals and plants need to survive. It is very important to realize that everything in nature is connected to everything else.
What fills your day when you are not volunteering with The Couchiching Conservancy?
I work full time in an office and so try to spend as much time outside as I can. The rest of my day is spent with my family and friends, looking after my house and travelling as much as possible.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering for The Couchiching Conservancy?
How rewarding and fun it is and that it really does not take up a lot of time. Not only are you helping to conserve nature but you also gain so much from the people you meet. The Conservancy and staff are always very helpful in giving us any necessary training and assistance. It is easy to get hooked!
Interested in volunteering? Visit the Volunteer page on our website and contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.