For our July volunteer spotlight, we are featuring a volunteer with a unique story who Has reliably been coming to events all over the state, traveling and camping with her feline companion, and is also a Master Hunter and Master Birder.
Donna LaCasse has been volunteering with The Nature Conservancy since 2014 when her husband passed away suddenly, and she decided to throw herself into service as a way to work through her grief. Since then she’s been highly involved with The Nature Conservancy and many other environmental organizations, and is willing to take trips halfway across the state to help out on our preserves.
The Nature Conservancy: What is your volunteer role? How long have you been volunteering with The Nature Conservancy? Do you volunteer anywhere else?
Donna LaCasse: I volunteer at Port Susan Bay and other Conservancy preserves throughout the state, traveling with my cat Stonewall Jackson. I volunteer at Puget Sound Bird Survey, Coastal Survey, USGS breeding bird survey, Vaux swift migration counts, and with the Great Old Broads for Wilderness.
The Nature Conservancy: Where are you from? How long have you been living in Washington?
Donna LaCasse: I was born in WA but have lived in other states.
TNC: Anything about your career or schooling you would like to share?
Donna: Currently retired, college grad and worked in hospital labs in chemistry during my career.
TNC: What inspired you to start volunteering with The Nature Conservancy?
Donna: Been a volunteer throughout my children’s school years...then after my hubby’s sudden death started working more closely with the various groups associated with Audubon and the environment.
TNC: What gives you the most hope for the future?
Donna: What gives me hope for the future is education of children and adults on the situation of our planet.
TNC: What's your favorite thing to do when you're not volunteering?
Donna: I am avid hiker and gardener and have completed entire PCT, but in many hikes.
TNC: How does volunteering make you feel?
Donna: Volunteering makes me feel like everyone can make a difference if they give of themselves and their time...and hopefully I am making a small difference.
TNC: What is your favorite Nature Conservancy preserve or project?
Donna: I love helping with pygmy rabbits and this year with the Broads on sage grouse habitat problems.
TNC: Who is your environmental hero?
Rachel Carson--Silent Spring-- hero. (We agree Donna!)