As I start my term as President, I thought I would introduce myself. I was raised on a mixed farm in Southern Saskatchewan near the hamlet of Viceroy, which is close to Willow Bunch Lake, an extension of the Big Muddy Valley. Our family was fortunate to own some beautiful native grassland pasture in the lake valley. As a lad, I spent many hours exploring the valley and adjacent coulees on horseback, which got me interested in nature.
I moved to Saskatoon in the late seventies to attend university, where I studied Geography and Soil Science. During my career I had opportunities to work in both the public and private sectors. A couple of the more enjoyable projects I was involved with were the soil surveys of the Grasslands National Park and the Meewasin Valley Authority land here in Saskatoon. Since my semi-retirement in 2010, I’ve had lots of time to pursue my many interests: travel, gardening, photography, home renovations, farming, cycling, nordic skiing, and of course, birdwatching. My wife Lynn Guina (photo) and I have a farm site near Dinsmore where we spend most of our time during the summer months.
It’s our happy place in the country where we enjoy all aspects of nature. I joined the Saskatoon Nature Society (SNS) in the mid-nineties and its Board of Directors in 2020. I’m looking forward to working with all the talented board members and volunteers who make the SNS such a truly amazing organization.
Speaking of talented people, we elected our slate of directors for 2021-2022 at our AGM on March 18. I would like to welcome Heather Brenneman, Janine McManus and Jan Spencer to the board. Heather and Jan bring a wealth of board leadership experience to the organization. Janine is rejoining the board after a one-year hiatus.
We have three long-term board members who are stepping down after many years of impressive service: Yvonne Cuttle, Robert Johansen and Valerie Martz. Yvonne has held the Treasurer’s position since 2012 and performed our accounting tasks with the efficacy of a mathematician. Al Scholz will be filling that position. Robert is leaving the board after more than ten years of service in a number of positions, including President. He is stepping aside but something tells me we will see him back on the board in the future. Valerie finishes her term as Past-President after six years of service. As an indication of her commitment to the SNS, she’s spent her last few months on the board chairing the committee set up to update our Constitution and Bylaws. On behalf of the SNS, I would like to thank you all for your dedication and good work. I would also like to thank Sara Bryson for her fine work as President over the last two years, especially this past year with all the COVID challenges. It’s been a very difficult year and she has managed it well.
In terms of a few of my goals as President, I would like to work towards a more effective administration that better utilizes the skills and knowledge of our volunteers, coordinators, committee chairs, and board members. I would also like to build on the great working relationships that SNS has with other conservation groups and societies. Finally, an important element to the success of the SNS going forward is to maintain our membership base and public profile. It is my goal to achieve this by continuing to foster our relationship with the university community and the general public.
Saskatoon Nature Society
Connecting People and Nature
Saskatoon Nature Society
Box 27013 Grosvenor Park
Saskatoon, SK S7H 5N9