Announcing our 2018 Volunteer of the Year!

Volunteers are mission critical to The Nature Conservancy, and we are so fortunate to have such a great group of incredible and dedicated volunteers.

In 2018, one volunteer’s contributions toward our mission rose above the rest. We are proud to announce that the 2018 Volunteer of the Year award goes to Emily Crabill for her work as the Stewardship Program Volunteer!

Volunteer Emily Crabill accepting her Volunteer of the Year Award

Emily was nominated by Randi Shaw, Stewardship Manager:

Emily Crabill didn’t know what she was in for when she showed up to a stewardship volunteer event at Moxee Bog (near Yakima) in late 2017. Emily had found the event on our website and drove herself all the way out from Seattle to join in. I had decided to come out for the event to see the preserve and help out. She happened to ride with me to carpool from the meetup point to the preserve. Immediately, I learned what a deep-thinking, big-hearted and energetic person she is, committed to a more sustainable and beautiful world. Once I heard she was up for getting involved with The Nature Conservancy in other ways, she was done for. I haven’t let her go since.

Emily at a Stewardship Event

In 2018 Emily officially became an ongoing Stewardship Program Volunteer and has probably gotten more done than I have. To illuminate a slice of her giving pie: She researched interpretative signage and did a presentation for our staff, she single-handedly designed an incredible coffee-table book to honor now-retired Yellow Island Steward Phil Green, she took on LTA photo monitoring and report writing for four preserves, she designed a comprehensive digital app guide to Ebey’s Landing Preserve, she transcribed an oral history interview with Phil Green about his time on Yellow Island, she represented The Nature Conservancy at several public events, she participated in several more volunteer work parties, she has worked on pulling together an inventory of our science and research at Ebey’s Landing, and much more! Now in 2019, she is going even bigger by coordinating our state participation in the TNC Bird Challenge.

In all of this, Emily has infused her spirit of warmth and positivity, her critical eye, her quick follow-through and her dedication to her values. I am so grateful to see her face every Tuesday and hope she sticks around for some time. If not, no matter; we are already more accomplished, more visible and more beautiful because of her generosity.

Volunteers attack reed canary grass in Fisher Slough Nature Preserve. Emily Crabill in the black coat and brown hat.

Honorable Mentions

Competition is stiff for the volunteer of the year at The Nature Conservancy’s Washington chapter. With hundreds of active volunteers every year, it’s always a tough decision to pick only one volunteer. As an honorable mention, we would also like to acknowledge “super volunteer” Susie Saalwaetcher. Susie is a long-time volunteer for the Conservation Ambassador Program, and her dedication as a volunteer was especially appreciated during the three-month period the Volunteer Manager position was vacant.

Thank you, Susie, and all of the volunteers who help us achieve our mission everyday!