Setting the gold standard — Ducks Unlimited Canada
Skip to main content

Setting the gold standard

John Johnston named DUC’s National Volunteer of the Year

April 20, 2020

DUC volunteers are renowned for their devoted service and loyalty. New Brunswick’s John Johnston is the gold standard.

The lifelong conservationist has been volunteering with DUC for an incredible 41 years. That’s 14,965 days and more hours than anyone would care to count. But every one of them has counted. Johnston’s time, effort, energy and enthusiasm have made an enormous impact on wetlands and wildlife across the country. For all that he’s done—and all he continues to do—DUC is proud to recognize Johnston as our National Volunteer of the Year.

Nobody else is creating wetlands and maintaining habitat like Ducks Unlimited.

John Johnston

“When I got started 40 years ago, I was a serious duck hunter. I read an article in a magazine that talked about Ducks Unlimited, and I thought these guys are doing something for me, as a duck hunter,” he recalls. “So, I said, I’ll support them. And I still believe exactly the same thing 40 years later. Nobody else is creating wetlands and maintaining habitat like Ducks Unlimited.”

DUC was a passion Johnston took with him when his career with CN Rail had him moving from city to city. He first joined DUC’s volunteer corps in Moncton where he helped organize the committee’s first fundraising dinner in 1982. Over the years, he lent his time and talents to committees in Halifax and Cornwall, Ontario before returning to Fredericton where he served as chair and now sits on the local committee.

Jamie Young, DUC manager of volunteer fundraising in Atlantic Canada, sums up the integral role Johnston plays simply and fittingly. “If DUC is doing something,” he says, “you can bet that John Johnston is a part of it.”

It’s true. In addition to Johnston’s duties on the Fredericton committee, he also serves as president for DUC’s provincial council in New Brunswick and often travels to communities across the province to assist with other DUC fundraising events. You can also find him volunteering at the front desk of DUC’s Fredericton office, building nest boxes or soliciting donations from local businesses. His latest project? Setting up a nest box camera to broadcast bird activities on a television inside the Fredericton office.

“John is the embodiment of what a DUC volunteer should be,” says Young. “His dedication to our organization spans the country. No matter where he has called home, he has found a DUC committee to share his love of hunting and conservation. We are extremely proud to name John DUC’s National Volunteer of the Year.”