People passionate about nature

Donna Derenchuk

Service Award recipient 1997

In the pantheon of deserving people, our next recipient of the Service Award has truly earned her place. Donna Derenchuk is one of those people whose years of selfless dedication, away from the limelight, makes the MNS the great organization that it is.

Donna has been an MNS member for many years and her particular area of interest has been the tall grass prairie. She has been especially active in the Habitat Conservation Committee and has spent untold hours helping out with this great MNS endeavor.

With her husband, Ian Ward, she has worked to spread the word and share her love of this landscape through tall grass prairie tours which she has organized. She participated in work parties and “spurge purges” and helped organize the Wildlife Art Shows and Auctions in support of the prairie. On one memorable July 1st, when a work party was taking down a quarter mile of barbed wire fence in the pouring rain and most wanted to call it a day, Donna cheerfully persisted and at the end declared “What a great way to spend Canada Day!”

In the past year, Donna has been ever more active than usual behind the scenes. For example, she helped organize this year’s superb Indoor Program. Last summer the MNS hosted the hugely successful Nature Federation’s Annual General Meeting. A good part of that success can be attributed to Donna’s hard work. She helped edit the program, assisted with the audio visual work and conducted a prairie tour.

Fortunately for all of us, as well as for the Canadians from coast to coast who attended the CNF conference, Donna did not stay entirely in the background. Indeed, her extraordinarily beautiful audio-visual presentation on Seasons of the Prairie, co-produced with Ian Ward, was one of the highlights of that conference.

Donna’s contribution to the MNS is all the more remarkable when one considers that she holds down 2 jobs and also does a huge amount of work for CPAWS.

Several words come to mind when thinking about Donna’s contribution to the MNS. Creativity, intelligence, tenacity (you know she will deliver), integrity (no cop outs, no expediency) and above all, loyalty and commitment. The MNS is deeply in your debt and we thank you.