Compared to the previous couple of years 2016 was relatively uneventful for Nature Manitoba. There were no properties sold or office changes, but at the same time our large variety of outdoor programs, workshops and Discovery evenings went off successfully. For those interested in the details of our many programs, they are articulated in other reports in the Annual General Meeting package.
One notable event was the changeover from a quarterly paper newsletter to a monthly e-newsletter under the guidance of Ms. Lynsay Perkins, our new web communications specialist. Hopefully you also noticed the results of her work in the revamped, revitalized newsletter and our increased presence on Facebook and Twitter. Lynsay has done a wonderful job.
In terms of our mandate for natural places I did communicate with the Government of Manitoba our concerns about a proposal to increase drainage of Whitewater Lake, an Important Bird Area. There has been no activity on that file for several months but we remain vigilant.
Volunteers are absolutely essential to all the things that Nature Manitoba does, along with our small cadre of paid staff. I would like to acknowledge Tommy Allen for his many years of service as Communications Coordinator and wish him well in future endeavours. Marc Leclair and the rest of the Mantario Committee worked particularly hard this year, not only running the very successful summer program without paid staff but finishing the season by re-shingling the cabin roof! Julia Schoen again organized and ran the very popular workshop series with her usual friendliness and efficiency. Many thanks to the Indoor Programs Committee for putting together the Discovery Evenings, and especially to Sandy Hayglass who took on the coordinator role. A special thanks to Diane Beaven who retired from the Committee after many years. Another person moving on to other opportunities, who I wish to thank is Amanda San Filippo, who has been the driving force behind the Bridging The Gap program since its beginning. Thanks also to Joe Leven for running the Garden Tour for us again this year. The Garage Sale was also a success and my thanks to the whole gang that made that happen. To Susan McLarty and Deanna Dodgson in the office thank you for the excellent work you do in keeping the organization going and being our prime interface with members and the public. There are several other programs, like the Gray Hares and the individual outdoor events, whose leaders I salute.
All of this considerable effort by “People Passionate about Nature” is what makes Nature Manitoba such a special organization and I am proud to be your President. Have a great 2017. See you on the lakes and trails.