Fred McMechan (from left)

Fred McMechan (from left)

Naturalists honour volunteers

The Williams Lake Field Naturalists presented their 2016 volunteer of the year award to Roger Hamilton.

The Williams Lake Field Naturalists presented their 2016 volunteer of the year award to Roger Hamilton.

The naturalists operate the Scout Island Nature Centre, and depend on volunteers and donations of materials, monetary donations and grants to maintain and operate the nature retreat and education centre.

Scout Island environmental educator Sue Hemphill presented the volunteer of the year award to Hamilton during the Scout Island Nature Centre’s fundraising banquet, Friday, April 15 at the St. Andrew’s United Church hall.

Hemphill said volunteers contributed 3,673 hours, with a cash value of $95,363 to the operation of the nature centre last year, but she expects there were many more hours contributed that weren’t recorded.

Adding to that, Hemphill said local businesses and individuals contributed $24,800 worth of in-kind donations of materials for nature centre projects.

Fred McMechan, who can often be seen working on trails around the nature centre, alone and with other volunteers, was presented with a unique back scratcher. Hemphill was also presented with a bouquet of flowers for her contributions to the centre’s programs.

All of the caterers from the church group who volunteer to prepare the banquet were also acknowledged with warm applause, with a special shout out going to Joanne Wright who prepares the desserts.

School District 27 was also recognized for its initiative to start a nature kindergarten at the nature centre this fall.