If there’s one thing my 20-plus-year career in conservation has taught me, it’s that nothing is more powerful than a group of people united in service. Volunteers are an incredible source of strength, support and inspiration.
During National Volunteer Week, I salute all the dedicated people who are serving their communities—including the more than 5,200 people who stand alongside us at Ducks Unlimited Canada.
Volunteerism is so often the root of positive change, and we see this in spades in the conservation world. Citizens who band together have helped protect natural areas they love. Community leaders who urge public officials to invest in conservation have made their towns and cities healthier and more resilient. Individuals who engage in all manner of activities—from fundraising to nest box building to mentoring the next generation of outdoorspeople—have helped bolster wildlife populations and save at-risk habitats. Through their actions and activism, volunteers are creating a legacy not only of service, but of leadership.
The establishment of Ducks Unlimited Canada is a compelling case in point. It was a small group of volunteers who established our organization 83 years ago. Motivated by the devastating effects that widespread drought was having on waterfowl and wetlands, they stepped up. They served the conservation cause by establishing our very first wetland projects. And they provided the leadership that created a nation-wide movement and company that now has 6.5 million acres of essential habitat under its care.
Today, our volunteers continue carrying this torch. And amid the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, they’re finding new ways of safely connecting with others who care about conservation and generating much-needed support. For this, our praise, recognition and thanks are louder and more earnest than ever.
So, to all our incredible Ducks Unlimited Canada volunteers across the country, please know that you are a true testament to the good that happens when people work together toward a common purpose. During National Volunteer week, and indeed every day of the year, we share our pride and thanks for all you do. Devoted, you serve. United, you soar.