WSPCR Wins Award
The Westcoast Society for the Protection & Conservation of Reptiles wins Environment Award.
Well I just came from the 2004 City of Burnaby Environmnent Award Ceremonies where the WSPCR was the nominee chosen in the catergory of the Environment Award for Communication. It was a different sort of event than I am used to attending for the WSPCR. I got to relax in a pleasant outdoor lakeside setting being served gourmet horsdoerves and refreshments instead of talking my self hoarse, bombarded by hundreds of questions! We were presented with a lovely limited run print of a native art style eagle with our name engraved on the plaque and had the presenters rattle off a very flattering speech about our work in educating the public. There were 5 other award recipients in other categories and I was amazed by some of the top guns we were rubbing shoulders with--twelve year old stream stewards who had released 5000 salmon in their careers since the age of 4, older gentlemen who had populated the entire region with nest boxes for birds, habitat for humanity folks, community garden folks who run chemical free gardens, school teachers who had led exceptional careers in teaching children about the environment... I was impressed and honored to have our little society placed among that group.
Some people deserve mention here as being integral with our obtaining this award. The first two being Gail Watson and Laurie Emerslund. Gail has been in the WSPCR in its many forms for over 30 years and he has run himself ragged attending more children's educational shows than all of us put together I think. In the height of show season I am sure he attends at least one educational show a week if not more--many of these consist of merely himself attending a cubs meeting or a classroom. This is amazing enough for one individual let alone one of our oldest members who was even attending such shows right aftera hip surgery a few years ago. Laurie Emerslund deserves special mention because it is through her that we have built such a strong relationship with the City of Burnaby, in which we are proud to make our base of operations for our activities in BC. She is also tirelessly devoted along with Gail to maintaining that relationship by attending just about every community event that Burnaby invites us to. Because of her efforts the City of Burnaby has been a wonderful supporter of our society instead of a city that we butt heads with over by-laws. Last summer's River's Day event even earned us a letter of thanks from the mayor himself stating that our presentation was the most popular of the whole event--we even beat out the dogs for adoption and they were pretty cute!
I hate to try to come up with a list of other people to include because there are so many people who do so much in both big ways and small ways. Anyone who has ever come out to even one show to be a part of our wonderful society deserves some credit. Even those past members who have moved away (this means you Katt, Vanan, Alex, and Dee--come back to us!!) or moved on (like Pat Newhouse & the other founding members, Steve Fortin, Leslie Rowlett, Tony & Megan VanRheenan) or even passed on (like the legendary Larry Moore). New members who have just begun to be active with us (like Deb Boyes) should also give themselves a pat on the back as their current and future activities will carry us forward to continue with the work we have done in the past to win this award. There are plenty of other people deserving mention--you know who you are, give yourselves a round of applause. I would also like to mention other groups and cities which have shown us fantastic support: The City of Richmond for its wonderful approach to exotic animal by-laws; the Richmond Nature Park, Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre and Science World for their hosting of some of our most popular shows; and all the groups, schools and libraries who give us venues to spread our educational message to kids of all ages.
Thank you to all of you!
"I love the smell of Iguanas in the morning!"