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Rooted in conservation

Craig MacLaren named DUC’s Volunteer of the Year in P.E.I.

April 20, 2020

Craig MacLaren’s roots are showing.

To be clear, we’re talking about MacLaren’s roots in DUC’s tight-knit volunteer community of Prince Edward Island.

The ties that bind the 14-year volunteer to DUC are both natural and familial.

He followed in his father’s footsteps. “My father is a 30-year DUC volunteer,” says MacLaren. “He helped me understand the importance of conserving our wetlands. When I was young, he took me to the spots he hunted with his dad. I remember finding the dory he used to cross the creek years ago. I remember thinking this is so cool and interesting. Now I take my daughter to those same spots.”

After helping his father at DUC events for a couple of years, MacLaren decided to officially join the DUC volunteer team. “I started with our Waterfowlers Dinner in New London, and then joined the Prince County Chapter in 2006.”

At first, MacLaren helped with set up, selling tickets and assembling prizes. He then became the emcee. When the chair of the Prince County dinner stepped down, MacLaren stepped up.

“The committee didn’t hesitate to ask Craig if he would take on the role of chair” says Jamie Young, DUC manager of volunteer fundraising in Atlantic Canada. “He has fallen into leadership seamlessly. He makes being part of the DUC team a fun and great place to be.”

MacLaren’s efforts have paid off. “We have a great time together and when it’s time for a dinner we are like a well-oiled machine,” he says. “I am always up for keeping the dinner fresh and current. And our members try and help our surrounding chapters.”

A hunter, fisherman and DUC ambassador in his community, MacLaren often brings DUC into casual conversations with fellow outdoor recreationists, “usually when in camo and a truck full of decoys.