A strong and dedicated group of volunteers brings a fresh perspective and a different sort of energy to the Couchiching Conservancy. Their contributions multiply the resources of the organization in so many ways: by increasing our capacity we can undertake new initiatives in conservation and preservation; our profile in the community is enhanced; our properties are maintained and protected for future generations and volunteers bring new insights and skills to the work we do.
Recognizing the contributions of the Conservancy’s many volunteers is one of the most enjoyable tasks we undertake but also one of the most difficult as all of our volunteers contribute in such a meaningful way to our efforts. However, there are often a few outstanding people who deserve special recognition. Each year, the Board of Directors, Past Presidents Committee and Staff nominate a number of volunteers who have gone above and beyond in their contribution of time, expertise and energy and awards Gold or Silver maple leaf pins in recognition of their special efforts.
At the 2014 Annual Meeting, Gold pins were presented to three volunteers: Timothy Crooks spearheaded the protection of Church Woods and since its acquisition by the Conservancy in 2006, has led the property team that cares for it; David Kennedy served on the Conservancy Board from 2007 to 2010 and since then has put countless hours into the Copeland Forest Initiative; and Karen Popp has not only organized the dinner for the Carden Challenge for the past ten years but also made a generous donation to help NCC acquire Prairie Smoke Nature Reserve and is renowned for her pie baking skills.
Silver pins were presented to four people. Neil Gray is a dedicated volunteer at the Carden Plain and has played an important role in the Carden Alvar Nature Festival with his most recent task being the key one of organizing volunteer marshals for the festival. Stefanie Moy-Shuster has contributed her design and marketing skills to the 2015 Passport to Nature, as the architect of the Conservancy’s website and also serves on the Development Committee. Alan Smale has dedicated himself to working on various property tasks in recent years, including work on the Helen Butler Reserve Property Team and in the past year or so has spent many hours at Bluebird Ranch working on the restoration of grassland habitat. Leanore Wianko has also dedicated many hours over the years to Conservancy properties including the East Coulson Swamp and as Team Leader for Jennett Woods.
The 2014 honourees have given countless hours of their time to the Conservancy and with the gift of their time and skills they, and all our volunteers, enable us to continue the important work of preserving our natural heritage for generations to come.
If you are interested in learning more about volunteering with the Conservancy, contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Gay Guthrie at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 705.326.1620. We have lots of exciting opportunities to choose from.