On July 1 2019, the Conservancy honored dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers at a recognition event followed by a screening from the Beauty of Nature Film Series, “Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey.” Volunteers enjoyed handmade all-natural ice cream by Kansha Creamery and a raffle with fun sponsor giveaways. Nina Wasuta-Moore was presented with the President’s award and Elizabeth Eastman received the Deena Sheridan Nature Education Award. The Conservancy also recognized seven volunteers—Michael Bell, Julia Higgins, Henry Jurgens, Jerry Kotler, Kaori Namoto, Sue Scholton and Grace Wallace—with Outstanding Volunteer awards for their leadership and dedication to education, trail monitoring, citizen science and governance.
- Nina Wasuta-Moore received the President’s award for her exceptional commitment as a volunteer. You will find her volunteering almost daily at the Conservancy’s Native Plant Nursery. She is also a member of the Rapid Response Team helping to maintain trails. This past year, Nina expanded her extensive commitment by joining both the Volunteer Trail Watch and Trail Crew.
- Elizabeth Eastman received the Deena Sheridan Nature Education Award for her dedication and contribution to the education of students as a Third Grade Naturalist Docent, a White Point Nature Education Center Docent and for helping to lead many other educational activities presented by the Conservancy. Elizabeth shares her deep love of nature with students at many schools including Hawaiian Avenue, Bonita, Point Vicente, Soleado and Eshelman elementary schools.
- Mike Bell, who was lauded as a valued member of both the Cactus Wren and the Wildlife Tracking programs. Mike took the extraordinary steps of monitoring two different reserves at the same time and created a native pollinators iNaturalist page. He also completed the Cal-Naturalist program and is now a certified California Naturalist.
- Julia Higgins, who was honored as a dedicated Conservancy Greeter, devoted her time to provide information to visitors at events over the past three years. Her enthusiasm and passion for conservation has helped recruit numerous volunteers and inspire many supporters to join the Conservancy.
- Henry Jurgens, who was hailed for inspiring an appreciation of nature as a Third Grade Naturalist Docent to students at Point Fermin Elementary, Peninsula Montessori and Dapplegray Elementary. He also leads numerous field trips on the preserves and helps to recruit and train new docents.
- Jerry Kotler, who was thanked for his magnificent images of the Peninsula featured in annual reports and many other publications, where they inspire an appreciation for the preserves’ beauty.
- Kaori Namoto, who was praised for her tireless work alongside her daughter and granddaughter helping to remove invasive weeds and plant native species. As a member of the Volunteer Trail Watch, she also reaches out to the community on the trails about the importance of preserving our open spaces.
- Sue Scholton, who was honored for her work to educate future land stewards as a Third Grade Education Docent and White Point Nature Center Docent. Through field trips, Sue brings the Conservancy’s educational program to both 7th Street Elementary and Dapplegray Elementary schools and many other students. • Grace Wallace, who was recognized for being a dedicated community volunteer who served on the board for eight years and on the Finance Committee for a decade. Among her accomplishments is the 2014 Abalone Cove Shoreline Park Grand Re- Opening Event which she spearheaded in partnership with the City of RPV.
Congratulations and thank you to each one of our valued and essential volunteers!