The following awards were presented at the Nature Vancouver Annual General Meeting in April 2015:
Photos by Bengül Kurtar
Kay and Charles Ney Award
This award was established in 1975 in memory of Kaye Ney by her husband (and then President) Charles Ney, and it was renamed after his death. It is the premier award of the Society for “lifetime” exemplary service and dedication to the Society.
Bill Kinkaid provides exemplary service to Nature Vancouver, enhancing the lives of members and promoting the enjoyment of nature for the past 15 years.
Bill Kinkaid receiving the Ney Award, presented by Daphne Nagorsen and Cynthia Crampton
As a Field Trip Leader, Bill has been one of the prime field trip leaders for the past 15 years. He has offered close to 20 field trips a year during these times, to places ranging from the Sea to Sky Highway, the North Shore Mountains, the Fraser Valley and in Washington State. His trips are well planned and have attracted up to 40 participants on weekend outings. He carefully researches the location and its features and provides this background to participants.
Bill is a well rounded naturalist, superb Birder and accomplished Botanist, and shares his knowledge with participants on field trips. He also does monthly bird surveys at Everett Crowley Park, and raptor surveys.
Bill is a member of the Camp Committee, and attends the Wilderness Camps, taking on the role of hiking trip leader. As his work schedule permits, he also goes on the advance trips to choose the locations for the camps. Participants on his camp hikes are introduced to the flora and fauna of the area, and know they will be safely guided back to camp at the end of the day.
In 2011, Bill organized a two-night backpacking trip which was really well received by members, and so has followed by organizing several group backpacking trips into new areas. He has extended the Wilderness Camp experience by initiating Expeditionary Camps, backpacking camps for a few members either preceding or following the wilderness camp. These Expeditionary Camps quickly fill up, and have become a very popular addition to Nature Vancouver’s offerings.
Bill also takes it upon himself to offer a road trip log to those driving to summer camps, to enhance the drive by logging various natural history points of interest along the way.
Bill has been a Board member for Nature Vancouver for over 10 years, contributing much to discussions and decisions, and has served as vice-president for several years. He has chaired or served on committees such as Awards, Nominations and Policies. For social and AGM evenings, he has compiled photographs from field trips and camps for showing to members.
In 2014, it was decided that in addition to having a Field Trip Coordinator, there should also be a Hiking and Backpacking Coordinator. This came about so that we could differentiate between the field trips offered - such as a birding trip on a dyke and a backpacking trip in the back country, as these trips require different levels of skills and abilities. Bill has become the Coordinator of this new position, and in his usual inclusive way, recommended that the position be Hiking & Backpacking Co-ordinator/Team Leader.
Bill is a Team Leader extraordinaire: committed, reliable, knowledgeable and willing to step up and volunteer over and beyond. He enhances the knowledge of nature and hiking in BC, and Nature Vancouver is very fortunate to have Bill as one of its leaders.
Davidson Award for Conservation
Richard Swanston, after retiring several years ago from his career as an officer with BC Ferries, has devoted much of his time to active conservation. Richard is an effective watchdog for everything that happens in Delta, especially in Boundary Bay and on Roberts Bank. He is an enthusiastic birder who locates and photographs birds and reports his sightings of tagged birds to the appropriate agencies. He also observes changes in the populations and behaviour of key bird species in these critical areas.
Richard Swanston presenting the Davidson Award, presented by Jeremy McCall
Richard monitors all activities which have a negative impact on wildlife such as hunting, helicopter training and kiteboarding. He is a particularly acute observer of events at Deltaport and on the Deltaport causeway, events which have a negative impact on the environment such as line-ups of up to 100 idling container trucks and the refuelling of locomotives in unauthorised locations.
What makes Richard such an effective advocate for the environment is that he is not content with just observing these things. When he notices an activity which is either illegal or especially egregious he does not hesitate to write to the appropriate authority to bring it to their attention. Over the years Richard has written strongly worded letters to the Ministers responsible for Environment Canada, to the BC Ministers of the Environment and to persons responsible for the local agencies such as the Mayor and Council of Delta and other provincial and regional authorities.
What makes Richard stand out in the field of conservation is not only the fact-based nature of the issues he brings to the attention of our elected officials and their staff but also the fearless way he sets about it.
Frank Sanford Award for Community Service
Kathleen Fry has provided nature education focussed on wetlands and wetland wildlife for decades to the public and to school children. She conducted educational programs at Serpentine Wildlife Management Area and by the year 2000 expanded programs to Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Her work and public outreach has been supported by Ducks Unlimited Canada for many years, and she is now employed by the BC Waterfowl Society at Reifel Bird Sanctuary.
Kathleen Fry receiving the Sanford Award, presented by Jude Grass
In 2009, when John Ireland retired, she became the manager at the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. As Sanctuary Manager she oversees its operation and public outreach. She has organized many improvements such as educational signage and public guidance in respectful viewing ethics. Kathleen has been very helpful to birders, passing on educational and viewing tips along the trails. Her cheerful manner is well known to many. She is often seen along the trails at Reifel where she mingles with visitors and in conversation shares viewing sightings, answers questions and ensures respectful behaviour.
Reifel Bird Sanctuary staff Varri Raffan and Kathleen are always helpful in providing and setting up meeting space for the evening gathering of the Ladner Christmas Bird Count and also for courses which Nature Vancouver periodically holds at Reifel.
This past winter Kathleen has received thanks from many for her special efforts to enable viewing the rare Great Grey Owl that was ‘roosting’ and sometime hunting voles in the out-of-bounds area at Reifel. To the pleasure of many, her team of staff and volunteers led small groups into this area to witness the owl. The Great Grey Owl arrived at Reifel on Feb 7th and was seen regularly until the afternoon of February 26th. During that time, Kathleen estimates that she guided from 1500 to 2000 people to view the owl. People were advised of the strict viewing guidelines, which Kathleen ensured were followed and thanked people for the respect shown.
Kathleen Fry has contributed much to nature education and appreciation of wetlands by the public, thereby furthering the aims of Nature Vancouver.
The Kay Beamish Award for Nature Education and the Garibaldi Awards for Service to Nature Vancouver were not awarded in 2015.