The next generation of conservationists

Young DUC volunteers like Alex Prince are inspired by a deep-rooted love of nature

DUC volunteer Alex Prince has a deep-rooted love of nature and conservation. ©Alex Prince

DUC events have a way of bringing people together. What unites us as conservationists are values, traditions and memories. The next generation of conservationists is upon us.

Many long-time volunteers are retiring and when looking to fill the void, DUC looks for the type of people who embody the values and traditions that have shaped the organization for decades. However, we are also looking for people who know how to have fun so that new DUC memories will be created.

DUC committee chairman Chuck Deschamps is impressed with the calibre of youth who have stepped up to make a difference.

At 24, Alex Prince has a deep-rooted love of nature and conservation. She spent many summers at the family cabin at Fishing Lake creating memories and enjoying time outdoors. A new member of the DUC Wadena Committee, Alex is no stranger to DUC. Her family has attended banquets for many years and have always been supportive of the DUC mission. It was her father, who was on the Saskatoon Committee, who encouraged her to join and she is now recruiting more youth to join DUC.

“I have been actively recruiting friends in Wadena. I know about half are retiring soon, so it is nice to see younger people up and coming. We just keep telling people how much fun it is and that’s how we get people to join us.”

2016 was the first dinner she helped organize, and she could not have been happier with the results. “The event was amazing. I get excited when the auction starts, and I got caught up in the bidding. I won my favourite print, Daybreak. It is just stunning, and all the colours compliment my home nicely. That painting is meant for me.”

Alex had three large tables booked for friends who traveled from Prince Albert and Kelvington to attend the event. Every one of them went home with a treasure and couldn’t have been happier. Alex says it is amazing to see how many Americans make an effort to plan their hunting trips around the DUC Wadena dinner. The event had attendants from as far as Texas and California come and raise money for Saskatchewan conservation.

“One American loves to bid everything up, but then he turns around and gives the prize to the person he outbid. Even though he paid for it,” she laughs. “He knows it’s all going to a cause he loves, so he makes it his mission to have a great time at the event and raise as much money as possible – even if the money comes out of his pocket and someone else gets the treasure.”

Alex is an avid hunter and is working two jobs, while traveling to Regina for post-secondary schooling to become a chef. She loves all aspects of DUC and says the events and the Conservator are two of her favourite things about the company. She likes to try the recipes featured in the magazine and says one of her favourite dishes to cook is duck.

“DUC fits right into my lifestyle. I have always had a love for nature and hunting and fishing, and I have a pretty extensive collection of DUC merchandise from dinners. I am looking forward to volunteering with DUC for many years to come, so I can protect habitat and also decorate my house more.”

Originally published in the Saskatchewan Conservation Connection. Email DUC in Saskatchewan to receive a copy. 

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