2019 Volunteer Appreciation & Annual Awards

2019 Volunteer Appreciation & Annual Awards

Presented on 25th April, 2019, at the AGM

Photos by Bengül Kurtar

Garibaldi Awards for Club Service  

Laura Fauth  

Laura provides professional design services through her company, Pacific Spirit Design. She has volunteered her time since 2009, as the design and production editor of Discovery. Laura’s professional expertise has ensured a consistent and attractive layout of the journal that all members appreciate very much.

Laura also designed and produced our latest publication, 100 Years of Natural History. She undertook this task and completed it in rush time to have the book ready in time for our social event last December. She has also been very helpful to make these publications available in a format suitable for posting on the website.

Laura Fauth – Garibaldi Award

Laura also did the design for Nature Vancouver : A Portrait, 1994-2010 and the Discovery Index 2.

Laura is long overdue for recognition. To recognize Laura’s continued contributions, the Board of Directors voted to pay a small honorarium for her work, beginning with Volume 46 last fall. Nature Vancouver greatly appreciates Laura’s contributions over this past decade, and we look forward to her continuing association with Nature Vancouver.

Lynette Grants

Lyn has long championed Cypress Provincial Park and involved Nature Vancouver members with Cypress issues, working together with Katharine Steig.  Lyn is a superb hiker and through connections with groups such as the Golden Age Hikers, Lyn has further publicized Cypress. She has led many ‘joint’ field trips at Cypress for Friends of Cypress and Nature Vancouver, thereby strengthening connections and awareness of issues. Field trips are held throughout the year, including some snowshoe outings.  Lyn served as president of Friends of Cypress for three years and remains on its Board as a Director-at-Large, helping with newsletter production, distribution and promoting the Society’s work in numerous other ways. 

Lyn helped Nature Vancouver in several ways for the hosting of the May 2018 conference for BC Nature, dating as far back as 2015 with discussions on location. She served on the Conference Hosting Committee from early 2016, helping with components such as arranging the Friday banquet venue at the UBC Botanical Garden and gathering a ‘crew’ of joint Nature Vancouver members and Friends of the Garden volunteers to organize and serve the banquet. 

Lynette Grants – Garibaldi Award

Lyn also solicited the many donations for the conference contributing to the very successful silent auction fundraiser.  Lyn would be the first to recognize others who helped her, including Linda Mueller. Throughout the Conference organization, Lyn provided an invaluable liaison and strengthened our ties with the UBC Botanical Garden, with whom Nature Vancouver shares our founder, John Davidson.  One example of Lyn’s liaison skills strengthening Nature Vancouver’s connections is that our members now conduct a monthly bird survey at the UBC Botanical Garden. 

Thanks Lyn, for your organizational and liaison skills promoting Nature Vancouver, and for sharing your love of hiking and enjoyment of the outdoors with naturalists.

Peg Neilon

Peg Neilon is being recognized with the Garibaldi award for her extensive Nature Vancouver camp contributions. Peg’s first camp experience was in 2008 with her partner, Howard Katz at the Driftwood Lodge drive in camp. Peg and Howard returned for their first alpine camp in 2009 at Cinnabar Basin camp.

The 2010 Meadow Mountain ‘drive-in’ alpine camp was noteworthy where she led the first, and perhaps only, yoga drop-in session in a gorgeous Kootenay alpine meadow. Butler Lake in 2012 saw Peg take on the responsibility as the Week Two camp manager, a role which she has assumed for the 2013 Blowdown Lake camp, 2017 Driftwood Lodge camp, and most recently the 2018 McGillivray Pass camp.

Peg Neilon – Garibaldi Award

This coming summer, Peg will be camp manager at the 2019 Niut Lakes camp near Tatlayoko.

Throughout all the camps Peg has led and in all the camp committee planning and organization meetings she has attended since 2012, she has shown great leadership and organizational skills, wonderful managerial abilities, and a very valuable common sense approach to problem solving and long term planning. Peg is noted for her superb camp management and it is legendary how highly people speak about her laid back but direct, highly effective and fun manner. She is a bonafide Nature Vancouver treasure. Thank you Peg!

Paul Vasicek

Paul Vasicek – Garibaldi Award

Paul joined Nature Vancouver in 2012 when he attended his first camp at Butler Lake in Niut Range near Tatla Lake in the Chilcotin.

Separate from his equipment role, Paul has been an integral part of searching out new camp locations, and assisted in the 2018 trail clearing endeavor, which allowed the McGillivray camps to happen.

Paul has been a huge asset to the camp committee as a whole, and as an engineer and also an experienced sailor, he is the perfect person to take responsibility for the range of equipment used at the Nature Vancouver camps.  Paul can fix anything, has a vast range of practical knowledge and has an immense talent at researching, problem solving and innovating to make the camps operate as smoothly as possible.

The camp setup was a challenge that year with low cloud and soggy conditions and Paul helped from the start assisting with the tent setups, tarping of the tents and the setup of the oil stove in the dining tent for its inaugural use.  After the camp when Fred Hornby stepped down from his role as equipment manager, Paul volunteered to assume the role and has done a stellar job since then.

Paul also is a dynamic leader being involved with the North Shore Hikers and the Vancouver Skiers and through his involvement and leadership in those organizations has brought many new members to Nature Vancouver and the camps. 

Paul always brings a cheerful, positive and thoughtful demeanor to all camp activities.  He is a huge asset to the camps and is appreciated by everyone who has the pleasure to know him.  Thank you Paul

Frank Sanford Award for Community Service

The Sanford Award recognizes a non-member or another organization, for service and activities that support the objectives of Nature Vancouver.

Glen Dennison

Glen Dennison has been an active and dedicated member of the Marine Life Sanctuaries Society since 2007. He is a seasoned diver of more than 35 years, a constant observer and explorer on and under the waters, and a guardian behind the documentation of the effects of human activity on the sensitive bottom-dwelling marine life of Howe Sound. 

Glen Dennison – Sanford Award

With Glen’s gentle but firm manner and profound knowledge of the area, he convinced Transport Canada to install mooring buoys in the Sound as a means of protecting and reducing anchor damage to the seafloor. Using his own boat, developing off-the-shelf equipment to build devices for mapping and videoing the reefs, and an enormous commitment of time, Glen has been a driving force behind the discovery of 12 glass sponge reefs in Howe Sound. 

Glen’s work and cooperative relationship with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada has resulted in the recent announcement on March 6, 2019 that the glass sponge reefs in Howe Sound are now protected under marine refugee status. His tireless, selfless, passionate and collaborative efforts have paid off for the sponge reefs, the marine life associated with the reefs, and for the surrounding communities and municipalities who are in pursuit of obtaining an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation for Howe Sound. The Frank Sanford Award for Community Service is a very timely acknowledgement of his efforts.

Kay Beamish Award for Nature Education

The Beamish award recognizes achievements by the Society’s members in the field of nature education or promoting the aims of the Society.

Elena Klein

Elena Klein has shown her commitment to Nature Vancouver over the past eight years in many ways, from serving on the Board for three years, to leading field trips for members, to helping extensively with the May 2018 BC Nature Conference both with publicity and as treasurer.  

Her nomination for the Kay Beamish award arises from her work over the past three years to produce the exhibition:  Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives. Elena led the group working collaboratively with the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) to co-produce this exhibition.  

The idea originated with Elena as a way to celebrate Nature Vancouver’s 100th anniversary. She sent an email in February 2016 suggesting an exhibition that looks at how naturalists and their equipment have changed over the past 100 years.  That seed of an idea grew to countless meetings with MOV staff, the design team, representatives from Nature Vancouver, representatives from Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, and with the City of Vancouver’s Upcycling Organization.  The original idea was discounted and many more design ideas were drafted, revamped, thrown out, and resurfaced.  Text was edited, always, to shorter versions for public viewing.  

Elena Klein – Kay Beamish Award

Elena kept the Nature Vancouver Board well informed with monthly updates throughout the two years of intense planning and theme development.  She also arranged Nature Vancouver participation at the opening evening.

Content for the exhibition came from many sources.  Elena reached out to many subject matter experts for potential ideas and material for the exhibition.  

The exhibition includes a timeline of Nature Vancouver’s 100 years, historical photos and recollections from members, involving much research and archival digging, with contributions from several members. Elena took the responsibility of coordinating images, maintaining the Museum’s minimalistic word count and coordinating with the Museum’s curator.  Prior to opening she helped MOV with their marketing plan.  After the exhibition opened in late June 2018, Elena lined up volunteers to provide outreach activities on weekends.  It has been a monumental task.

This exhibition is a source of pride and achievement for both the Museum and Nature Vancouver. At its proposed closing in September, it will have been open for over one year, with school groups, tourists and locals taking the time to ponder their relationship with nature, and be aware of Nature Vancouver.   We are grateful for the skill, dedication and commitment given by Elena, totally as a volunteer, to make this exhibition a reality.

Charles & Kaye Ney Award for Extraordinary Service

The Ney award is the premier award of the Society for “lifetime” exemplary service and dedication to the Society.   

Larry Cowan

Late last year, Larry announced that 2019 will be his last year leading birding field trips. He’s been the leader of 195 birding field trips for Nature Vancouver in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Pitt Meadows, since his first one at Colony Farm in 1995 (he actually scheduled 226 but 31 got rained out). Since keeping records in 2002, he estimates he’s had a total of over 2300 participants. 

For the past 17 years, one of the special things Larry has done on each of those field trips, is provide participants with a custom bi-fold 4”x6″ checklist, in color, showing only what species have been seen on his walk at that specific location in that specific month of the year. And he cleverly makes it double as a promotional piece, by stating when his next field trip will be and when the next Birders Night is.

Larry has been a significant contributor to all three editions of The Birder’s Guide to Vancouver and the Lower Mainland (in 1993, 2001 and 2016). For example, he authored the “Colony Farm” chapter in 2001 and reviewed it in 2016. And in 2016 he revised both the Minnekhada Regional Park/DeBoville Slough and the Pitt Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area chapters.

In collaboration with a couple of other experienced birders, Larry was responsible for the very time-consuming task of updating The Seasonal Status of Vancouver Birds, which is included in the Birder’s Guide to Vancouver and printed as a separate booklet for convenient use in the field. Larry was on the Vancouver Checklist Committee for both the Spring 2013 and April 2018 publications.

Larry Cowan – Ney Award

In Nature Vancouver’s Parks & Nature Places around Vancouver, book of 2009, he wrote the Colony Farm and Grant Narrows Regional Park chapters.

Larry served on the Birding Section Committee for about five years, including Chair for one year. And he was the Birding Field Trip Coordinator for seven years, from 1997 to 2004. He participated in the Nature Vancouver Raptor Survey in the Pitt Meadows area from 1995 to 2010.

Larry created two presentations for Birders’ Night, in 2009 about his birding trip to Ecuador and in 2015 about his birding adventure in Peru.

Larry has participated in various Christmas Bird Counts in the Metro Vancouver area since the mid-1990’s. That includes being an Area Leader for the Ladner Christmas Bird Count for about 20 years. Since the mid-1990’s, he’s also been involved with the Pitt Meadows Christmas Bird Count, first on the west side of the Pitt River when he lived in Port Coquitlam and now on the east side of the Pitt River, since he moved to Pitt Meadows in 2004. From 2014-2018 he took on the added responsibility as the compiler for the east half of the Pitt Meadows Christmas Bird Count Circle.

Larry co-hosted Nature Vancouver’s Rare Bird Alert phone line for about ten years, until it was discontinued in 2013. That involved updating and summarizing the rare bird reports every day for all those years.

Larry received the Garibaldi Award for service in 1999 and the Beamish Award for Nature Education in 2007.  He has proven in countless ways that his “service and dedication” to Nature Vancouver over the past 25 years has been “exemplary”, making him highly deserving of this prestigious award.

Larry, we are truly grateful to you. Congratulations!

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