The volunteers that enable the Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society (OLWQS) to play the vital role in water quality monitoring that it does, were honoured over the weekend.
The society’s Annual Volunteer Appreciation Event paid tribute to the “support and participation of all our talented and generous volunteers,” said OLWQS President, Birgit Arnstein.
“Their wide range of knowledge, skills and experience in a variety of areas from public relations to fundraising, to public education and scientific lake monitoring make a difference for our community and for the environment.”
Arnstein explained that a few years back, the Society honoured Lake Monitoring Data Manager John Gates for his attention to detail and the countless hours spent managing all aspects of data collection which is used by the provincial government and other environmental groups.
She also noted that Gates is currently working towards handing over the reins of this key job to Trevor Reeves beginning in 2024.
Arnstein also pointed to volunteer Neil Bousquet who is the content editor for the OLWQS Website and Facebook pages, and also creates and pushes out news releases, takes timely photography and participates in invasive mussel monitoring.
She also highlighted the work of Iain Fraser for his skill in piloting the monitoring boat. “Without Iain’s knowledge and dedication in taking care of our pontoon boat and motor, there would be no data collection,” Arnstein said.
Iain has worked tirelessly and may I say patiently, on the purchase and rigging of our new boat and motor.”
She noted there were many challenges in keeping the boat covered and running smoothly in summer as well as winter storage.
“He also turned his considerable talents to rigging our ‘new/old depth sounder’ when it broke and saved us money and time by doing the work himself! In addition, Iain has kept very much abreast of all data collection and management issues.”
Arstein also thanked member volunteers Bob and Deb Sherwood for hosting the volunteer appreciation event at their lakeside home. “Bob has been a Boat Captain for many years and Deb has been on our board and managed the crew schedule. Bob and Deb have painted yellow fish, attached trash can decals and engaged in shoreline cleanups!” she said.