In July, Conservancy supporters gathered to recognize outstanding volunteers for their leadership roles and dedication to education, trail monitoring and citizen science. Barb Ailor, Dorie Chadwick, Eva Cicoria, Tricia Rapaport, Connie Lao, Peter Niemiec, Evi Meyer and Noel Park were honored for a variety of accomplishments:
• Dorie Chadwick has been teaching as a Third Grade Naturalist Program docent with five local elementary schools for more than 13 years. Her dedication to teaching students about local natural history has inspired many young naturalists.
• Tricia Rapaport served for several years as the Conservancy’s liaison to the National Charity League’s Palos Verdes Chapter. She continues to contribute her organizational talents at almost every Conservancy event.
• Connie Lao recently became a citizen scientist in the Cactus Wren monitoring and Wildlife Tracking programs. She has already proved herself as a talented wildlife monitor.
• Peter Niemiec learned about the Conservancy through the White Point Home Tour. Wanting to become involved, he is now Chair of the White Point Community Group and has also joined the Team Leader Program.
• Noel Park has been a dedicated Conservancy volunteer for more than 15 years. He now volunteers many hours every week battling invasive fennel as a leader of the Adopt-A-Plot program in Agua Amarga.
• Barb Ailor helped to create the Volunteer Trail Watch Program and served as its co-chair.
• Eva Cicoria earned this year’s President Award for her years of dedication as a KEEPER, Team Leader and co-coordinator of the Volunteer Trail Watch. Eva spends dozens of hours every week walking the preserve and talking to visitors to educate them about the importance of staying on the trails to preserve our fragile and unique coastal sage scrub habitat.
• Evi Meyer earned the Deena Sheridan Education Award for her work enriching the lives of hundreds of school children through her years of service to the Third Grade Naturalist Program. A longtime member of the Citizen Science Cactus Wren Monitoring program, Evi wrote a book about the wrens, A Bravo for Charlie, which the Conservancy published this year.
Volunteer Program Manager Brittany Goldsmith says, “We are fortunate to have such an amazingly strong and supportive group of volunteers who strive day in and day out to achieve the Conservancy’s mission.”