At the Annual Genral meeting held on 26 April 2012, Dan Overmyer, President, Nature Vancouver, presented the volunteer awards to all the recipients.
The Kaye and Charles Ney Award - Adrian Grant Duff
Adrian is one of those stalwarts of Nature Vancouver without whom the Society could not function. Quietly, as is his way, he has undertaken a series of essential volunteer jobs over the course of his membership. He first joined in 1980 and his initial contributions were to lead birding field trips to places like Queen Elizabeth Park, as he did in the Spring of 1999. Since then he has undertaken a variety of roles related to the Birding Section and, subsequently, to the Board Directors.
Adrian became Chair of the Birding Section 1998 and he guided it through a period when the section had to change its meeting place several times, finally finding a permanent home at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Kerrisdale, where Adrian is a parishioner. Subsequent to his term as Section Chair Adrian took responsibility for organizing the Vancouver Christmas Bird Count, a complicated task involving dozens of volunteers, both members and non-members, and one which he continues to carry out with great efficiency.
Adrian was elected to the Board of Directors in 2002 and became President in 2004. He excelled in that role because of the methodical and thoughtful approach he brings to any task he undertakes. During his term as President Adrian supported the publication in 2006 of Wilderness on the Doorstep: Discovering Nature in Stanley Park, which was Nature Vancouver’s first new publication for some years. He also took a strong interest in proposals to improve the website and ensure that Vancouver Naturalist continued to perform a meaningful role for the Society. Also while he was President, Adrian took on the task of registering an appropriate “trade name” for the Society. to be used in conjunction with Vancouver Natural History Society, its legal name. This required name searches and discussions with the Corporate Registry in Victoria as well as with members.
In 2006 Adrian supported and assisted with the organization of a highly successful nature tour to Hawaii, led by Bruce and Leslie Bohm, and he reminded members that nature tours had once been an important part of the Society’s programs.
During and after his term as President, which ended in 2007, Adrian was faced with the difficult situation when the Vancouver Museum ceased to support its Associate Members, such as Nature Vancouver. Adrian was compelled, firstly, to try to negotiate different terms with the constantly changing Museum staff and, subsequently, to make other arrangements altogether. Since he ended his three year term as President, Adrian continued serving on the Board as Past President, stepping down in 2010. He subsequently acted as the Awards Chair and compiled the annual list of members who are to be recognized for their contributions. He also continues to serve on the Finance Committee where his level-headed approach is a great asset.
Given the many contributions Adrian has made to the Society it is remarkable that his efforts have not been acknowledged previously. Perhaps he has been too low-key in the ways he has contributed to Nature Vancouver. It is high time to rectify that and he fully deserves the award of the Kaye and Charles Ney Award for showing exemplary service and dedication to Nature Vancouver.
Citation by Jeremy McCall
The Davidson Award for Conservation - Pat Miller and Virginia Downes
I first became acquainted with Pat Miller and Virginia Downes shortly after I moved into my East Vancouver home in 2008. While out exploring the neighbourhood I came upon the ponds and surrounding wooded areas that make up the nature sanctuary at Hastings Park. I then became aware of the Hastings Park Conservancy and attended my first Saturday morning guided walk, where Pat found out my name and Virginia sold me a Hastings Park Conservancy t-shirt. Soon they had recruited me to join them on the Environmental Committee of the Hastings Park Conservancy.
Since then I have come to greatly admire Pat and Virginia for their tireless efforts at protecting the natural areas and in advocating for better habitat values, as more changes are made at Hastings Park.
The City has undertaken a series of consultations about the park over the past decade or so. When the City took over the PNE, they substantially changed direction, extending the work through a second major round of consultations and rethinking. Virginia has attended numerous City sponsored planning meetings and Pat has crafted numerous well written and well thought out letters advocating basic sound ecological approaches. They have also put in a lot of hard work in other areas, such as, supporting the lobbying efforts of the local community, staffing the Hastings Park Conservancy booth at various venues to ensure a balanced perspective and speaking at City Council meetings among them.
Both have been tireless advocates for the native plants and numerous bird species that have made the Sanctuary a key part of Hastings Park. One of their prime efforts has been the organizing the monthly nature walks around the sanctuary at Hastings Park. They are also responsible for the production and distribution of annual Hastings Park Sanctuary calendar. Pat has made Hastings Park a "hot spot" on the Bird Studies Canada's eBird Data base and the checklist of birds seen in the sanctuary is now up to 129 species.
Pat and Virginia are committed to bringing to a wider audience the knowledge that one can have a "wild" experience at Hastings Park without attending PlayLand, the Pacific Coliseum or the casino and racetrack. Their vision is to bring to Hastings Park a real park experience for the citizens of East Vancouver.
Citation by Doug Cooper and Bruce Wright
The Kay Beamish Award for Nature Education - John Clague
Whereas John has made very significant geoscience contributions in academia and government and has received many accolades for that work (well over 200 professional papers to his credit), he is best known to Nature Vancouver members as an educator.
I have known John Clague for more than 30 years now. When I first arrived in Vancouver as a graduate student at UBC in 1979, John Clague was with the Geological Survey of Canada, and his wife Lexi worked for my dissertation supervisor at UBC. Later, when John, as a professor at Simon Fraser University, and Bob Turner, at the Geological Survey of Canada, wrote Vancouver: City on the Edge, I also worked at the Geological Survey of Canada and had to opportunity to contribute to the scientific review and copy editing of the book, and subsequently, when I taught at Capilano University, was able to use that excellent book for my geology courses and as background for many field trips.
John has been generous in his volunteer educational contributions to the public through organizations such as the Geological Association of Canada, which is devoted to general education in the geosciences, as well as Nature Vancouver. He has contributed to Nature Vancouver through public lectures, field trips (including self-guiding field trips, some of which are posted on our website) and publications such as the “Geoscape and Geomap Vancouver” poster products and the book Vancouver: City on the Edge, both of which he produced with Bob Turner. His ability to engage with students, teachers and the general public in conveying his knowledge of the Earth Sciences in an easily understood manner, has been a major contribution to our understanding of the local geological landscape; particularly the more high energy surface geological (earth-moving) processes such as earthquakes, landslides, and glaciers. From the viewpoint of those of us who are geologists in Nature Vancouver [such as Jennifer Getsinger and David Cook], his methods (not to forget his advice) have been an inspiration and help in the running of the Geology Section of Nature Vancouver, which until now has been in the form of field trips. Perhaps we can talk him into giving a talk or two for Nature Vancouver.
It is appropriate on this occasion to also mention that Dr. Bill Mathews (former professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at UBC) who ran the Geology Section of Nature Vancouver and led many field trips between 1975 and 1985 was, by John’s admission, a strong influence and mentor for John.
Citation by Jennifer Getsinger
The Frank Sanford Award for Community Service - Jack Christie
Jack is possibly best known to NV members as the outdoors columnist with the Georgia Straight newspaper and his field guides to day and week-end trips around Vancouver. However he has made many other contributions to the understanding and appreciation of the natural world through his writings and radio -TV programmes over many decades.
In using the methods that he does, Jack has influenced the understanding of nature amongst a greater segment of the general public than is possible through somewhat specialized organizations such as ours. Perhaps more importantly he has emphasized the value of enjoying nature and the outdoors as a family unit. This ensures that what is learnt and appreciated is carried forward to subsequent generations.
It is fitting that he receive this award which is given each year by Nature Vancouver to any member of the community for service related to the objectives of our Society. Jack’s work has contributed in a major way to all the objectives of Nature Vancouver.
Citation by David Cook
The Garibaldi Awards for service to Nature Vancouver
Daphne joined the Society and became an active participant in field trips. Several of us noticed this energetic young person, and she was approached to join the Board. She readily agreed.
Two years ago, the call went out for members to join a working committee to update the history of the Society, and the Discovery Index. She again agreed to join this group, and has worked for two years to take the project from inception to its publication (Nature Vancouver: A Portrait 1993-2010). Her professional life as a librarian has been invaluable in helping the committee with decisions concerning indexing, a searchable database for the Discovery Index, and all of the other decisions and work required to bring the project to fruition.
Daphne also became a field trip leader, both at the annual wilderness camp, and during the year in and around Vancouver. Another valuable contribution to the Society.
The Board was looking at ways to find out why members joined the Society, what they were looking for, how they accessed information, whether their needs were being met, and if there were ways they could contribute to the Society. In short, we needed to survey our members. Again, Daphne stepped up and designed the surveys and analyzed the results. All useful information to help the Board in their planning.
Citation by Cynthia Crampton
Ron has played a leading role in many activities of the Society. He has made a great contribution to the Society through beautifully illustrated talks on the flora and fauna of the province, and has encouraged members to sharpen their appreciation of these botanical wonders. He has contributed knowledge and expertise to the Botany Section and to the Young Naturalists.
Ron has made an outstanding contribution to the preservation of special eco-systems and botanical species throughout B.C., working through government agencies to retain habitat and bio-diversity which will benefit generations to come.
Ron has devoted much time and energy to organizing the annual photo contests of the Society. Gathering and classifying the many entries, organizing the judges' panel, and acting as one of the respected judges, he has made the contests into a highlight of the society's annual activities. These contests enhance nature appreciation among approving audiences and lead to more enthusiasm for conservation and protection of bio-diversity.
In conclusion, I think Ron Long is eminently qualified to receive the Garibaldi Award of Nature Vancouver.
Citation by Donald Burton