2022 Volunteer Appreciation & Annual Awards

2022 Volunteer Appreciation & Annual Awards

This year’s volunteer awards were announced on 28th April, 2022 at the AGM. The AGM was held via Zoom Video Conferencing. The award plaques will be presented later.

Garibaldi Award for Club Services

The Garibaldi awards recognize members who have performed significant service to the Society over several years. Up to four Garibaldi awards are presented each year. These awards were established in 1993.

Lyndsey Smith

Lyndsey Smith volunteered to assist with the publishing of the weekly e-News. Her help is a huge benefit to Nature Vancouver and to Denis Laplante who has many other responsibilities. Lyndsey has also participated in Nature Vancouver field trips, and has helped with several of the New Brighton Park restoration work parties. Her contributions to Nature Vancouver are very much appreciated and we are delighted to present her with a 2022 Garibaldi Award.

Naomi Ross 

Naomi hiking in Mt. Baker Area

During the past year, as Nature Vancouver debated when and how to resume field trips, Naomi volunteered to lead three different field trips from mid-October to February. Naomi’s first leadership experience with a Nature Vancouver field trip was on the Capilano / Pacific trail in October. This had to be rescheduled at the last minute due to a windstorm. Naomi ran the trip successfully one week later. She then scheduled a field trip on Burnaby Mountain for late November. Shortly before that trip, southern BC was hit with the Atmospheric River extreme rainstorm event. The scheduled trip then had to be delayed when Naomi had to have emergency dental surgery. But Naomi rescheduled and ran the trip one week later – her persistence was admirable.

Undeterred, she led another field trip in mid-February, to Whyte Lake. This trip proved to be uneventful from a weather point of view and was enjoyed by all the participants. Naomi worked hard to offer outdoor experiences for us while dealing with many obstacles and in difficult conditions. We would like to express our appreciation to Naomi for her giving spirit and fortitude.  

Bill Ramey

Bill at a nest box cleaning session at Jericho with a class from Queen Mary Elementary School.

Bill has co-led Nature Vancouver’s day-long hikes through Pacific Spirit Park, contributed to year-long bird surveys at Jericho, been a chief worker on the annual nest-box maintenance at Jericho Park, UBC Farm, and UBC Botanical Garden. Bill has also made thoughtful and insightful contributions to Nature Vancouver discussions.  Bill used his woodworking skills to redesign and rebuild the Kay and Charles Ney Award. He has not only talked about the importance of the environment and natural world but actually mirrored that concern in how he lives. Bill takes absolutely amazing photographs of birds, butterflies and other insects, plants, and animals. We are pleased to honour the amazing and inspirational Bill Ramey with a Garibaldi Award for all that he has given to Nature Vancouver. 

Donna Underhill

Donna has been associated with VNHS / Nature Vancouver for most of her life and attended summer camps. Her father, Richard Stace-Smith, was a life-long member and a past President. Donna joined the Nature Vancouver Board of Directors in 2019 and from the start her friendliness and cheerful manner brightened meetings and deliberations. In 2020, Donna volunteered to serve as Membership Secretary, a role where in most cases, she is the first contact person to all new members. Having grown up in the VNHS milieu, Donna’s background is the perfect asset for knowing what’s going on and the many different facets of the society. Apart from a passion to properly keep track of our membership, Donna Underhill, with her friendly manner has enriched that important first impression of Nature Vancouver. It is our great pleasure to honour her with a well-deserved Garibaldi Award.

Nigel Peck presenting the Garibaldi Award to Donna

Kay Beamish Award for Nature Education

The Beamish award recognizes achievements by Society members in the area of nature education and/or contributions in promoting the aims of the Society. This award was established in 1995 in honour of Katherine (Kay) Beamish, a distinguished botanist and long-time member of this Society.

Susan Fisher

Susan has been a member of Nature Vancouver for over forty years and has contributed extensively to promote nature education. Susan was a major contributor to the history panels about Nature Vancouver, that were displayed at the Museum of Vancouver’s exhibition “Wild Things – The Power of Nature in our Lives”. This exhibition which ran from June 2018 through to February 2020, was in recognition and celebration of Nature Vancouver’s 100-year history. 

Susan at Jericho Park Work Party

Following her extensive research for the Museum of Vancouver’s exhibition, Susan went on to co-author (with Daphne Solecki) “A Hundred Years of Natural History – The Vancouver Natural History Society, 1918 – 2018” to celebrate our 100th anniversary. The chapters of the book were organized to highlight the five objectives of Nature Vancouver, and the activities of our organization over the past hundred years towards meeting and furthering those objectives. 

Susan has been a long serving member and participant with the Jericho Stewardship Group, involved with restoration at Jericho Park. This Stewardship Group grew out of restoration work undertaken by members of Nature Vancouver and continues to work in close partnership with Nature Vancouver. Susan has supported this group for several years, including on its board as President. Beginning in spring 2021, she organized a year-long bird survey at Jericho. 

Susan is also the Editor of NatureWILD, the quarterly magazine of NatureKids BC (formerly Young Naturalists’ Club of BC).

We are delighted and honoured to present Susan with this year’s Kay Beamish Award.  

Frank Sanford Award for Community Service

The Sanford award recognizes the achievements of the wider community that support the aims and objectives of Nature Vancouver. This award may be presented to any member of the community or another organization but is not usually presented to a member of Nature Vancouver. In general, only one Sanford award is presented per year. This award was established in 1995 in honour of Frank Sanford, Society Treasurer for 35 years.

Judith Holm

Judith Holm has been a member of Nature Vancouver since 2013 and has worked tirelessly in several organizations to help organize knowledge about natural areas, and to promote cooperation between different scientific and conservation projects.

As a director of the Squamish Environmental Society, Judith has been working to protect, document, and publicize the Squamish area, including Howe Sound. She coordinates the Biodiversity Squamish project launched on Earth Day 2017, to document the flora and fauna of the area through iNaturalist. Judith describes her work on this project as “curating the ever-evolving working species list”.

She has also worked tirelessly to publicize the need for further protection by designating corridors that will connect existing protected landscapes within the Squamish area.

Judith encourages and helps others to use iNaturalist to document observations, and has found methods to get the most out of it. with her extensive knowledge and tenacious research strategies, she has been a priceless resource for several of us with plant identification. Her cheerful and helpful disposition makes it a pleasure to work with her. It is a great pleasure to award the Frank Sanford Award for 2022 to Judith. 

Davidson Award for Nature Conservation

The Davidson award recognizes achievements by Society members in the area of conservation. This award was established in 1993 in honour of Society founder Professor John Davidson, a vocal conservation advocate.

Ian Clague

Ian has been involved in restoration efforts at both Pacific Spirit Park and Jericho Park for the last eight years, volunteering regularly, often weekly through much of the year. 

In addition to all the Pacific Spirit Park and Jericho Park restoration commitments, when asked, Ian agreed to help jumpstart the New Brighton Park restoration project, meeting with east-side project coordinators and the Vancouver Park Board stewardship coordinator in December last year, and then mentoring and working with New Brighton volunteers on multiple occasions this year. At the New Brighton Restoration Project work parties, he instructed the novice “Scotch Broom removers” on how to use the Extracticator, and how to properly remove both the blackberry canes and the roots to decrease the odds of immediate regrowth, and how to cultivate a realistic expectation of what success should be in the short term, and the importance of long-term effort to achieve restoration goals.

During a field trip in Pacific Spirit Park, last fall, Ian gave a wonderful description of the trees, the different habitats and soil types in the park and the history of the park as a whole. It is our great pleasure to present the Davidson Award for Conservation to Ian, a modest and a quiet conservationist, and all-around wonderful person.

Charles & Kaye Ney Award for Extraordinary Service

The premier award of the Society for “lifetime” exemplary service and dedication to the Society. Active Directors of the Society are not eligible for this award until they have served more than 10 years as a Director. This award was established in 1975 in memory of Kaye Ney by her husband and renamed after his death.

Nigel Peck

Nigel joined Nature Vancouver in 2004 and has served on the Board of Director for seventeen years, including three years as President. Nigel’s parents were active members of Nature Vancouver and he joined them in 1994 at the Cinnabar Basin week-long camp. In 2004, as a member of VNHS himself, he registered for camp with his wife Sue, enjoyed it immensely and when learning that for next year’s 2005 camp, a driver was needed for the large 5-ton truck, Nigel volunteered. He has continued to volunteer as truck driver since then. He will tell you that is his skill-–driving the truck! However, others credit him as an enthusiastic and capable leader of the Camp Committee (he became Camp Manager for one of the Waterton Lakes Camp in 2011), camp manager again at Butler Lake in 2012 and took on the role of camp chair in the fall of 2012, continuing as chair for the subsequent eight years to 2019 and the Niut Lakes Camp. The Camp Committee members over all those years have greatly respected Nigel for his leadership, enthusiasm, organizing skills and of course, driving the large truck full of camp equipment.

Since fall 2018, Nigel has served as President of the Nature Vancouver Board, with positive energy, fairness, and has been receptive to various views. He has maintained a friendly tone for meetings and has led our society successfully through the past two challenging years of Covid. Going that extra mile as always, together with his wife Sue Garber, they provided use of their outdoor/indoor ‘Bonnie Henry certified’ carport ‘Gazebo’ under their back yard carport for outdoor in-person Board meetings (and with zoom connection) as well as a meeting for field trip leaders. Sue has supported Nigel and contributed to Nature Vancouver in many ways, including with summer camps and social events such as Christmas socials and the 2019 Christmas Bird Count dinner.

This past winter Nigel enthusiastically initiated a team of hands-on volunteers for restoration work at New Brighton Park, also supported by his wife, Sue. Organized through a partnership with Vancouver Parks, the restoration group has worked hard over more than a dozen work-bees to first remove invasive plants and then plant native species.

It is a great pleasure to present the Charles and Kaye Ney Award to Nigel.

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