November 29 is Giving Tuesday, an international day of philanthropy celebrated all over the world. The Nature Trust of British Columbia is honoured to take part in this tradition, and this year, we have chosen to dedicate our initiative to supporting our Conservation Field Crews.

The four Crews are an essential part of The Nature Trust’s operations, working every day to restore and maintain our 180,000 acres of conservation land across the province, and to protect their countless ecosystems. To celebrate Giving Tuesday, we wanted to introduce you to some of the people that worked in the field for us during 2022. Their contributions have been incredibly valuable to BC conservation, and we thank them immensely for their work!

You can donate to our Giving Tuesday campaign here!

Sammy Penner

  • South Coast Field Operations Technician
  • Sammy supervises the South Coast Crew and coordinates restoration events
  • She grew up on the Fraser Delta and spent most of her childhood fishing or exploring Boundary Bay
  • Sammy spent 27 days paddling the Fraser River in 2018, learning about sustainability and watershed health

Alex Thomson

  • Okanagan Field Operations Technician
  • Alex oversees the Okanagan Field Crew and its incredible work
  • He is a graduate of the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation program at BCIT
  • Every weekend, Alex likes to go hiking on as many mountains as he can
  • He also got married this year. Congratulations!!!

Joe Strong

  • Joe is our Kootenay Conservation Land Coordinator
  • Joe worked on the Kootenay Crew from 2009-2014, before returning to lead in 2018
  • His passion is wildlife and fisheries, and has worked in the Kootenays for over a decade
  • He loves fish and being on the water!

Katelyn Michaud

  • Katelyn is a member and leader on the Okanagan Field Crew
  • She was the recipient of the 2022 Jim Walker Conservation Field Crew Member Award
  • Katelyn’s favourite activity is identifying the Okanagan’s many plants and appreciating their colour and beauty
  • She loves the incredible variety of tasks that the Crew undertakes and the fantastic people that she gets to work with!

Simon Ferguson

  • Simon is the field technician for the West Coast Crew that operates up and down the BC Coast!
  • Simon was the recipient of the 2019 Jim Walker Conservation Field Crew Member Award – and he has come a long way since!
  • He loves everything that his Crew does, from building fences and viewing platforms to early morning songbird surveys
  • Simon also loves doing everything he can to engage the public, including helping start the West Coast Crew’s Instagram page
  • Simon is used to how tough field work can be – he once had to remove 30 leeches from his leg!

Logan Robertson

  • Logan is a 3-year veteran of our Kootenay Field Crew
  • He lives in Cranbrook, which he loves for its extensive wilderness and backcountry access
  • Logan’s favourite activity was clearing fallen trees on spawning channels in Redfish Creek
  • He has also loved contributing to the future of the community through seed planting!

Isabelle Batko

  • Isabelle was a big part of the South Coast Field Crew over the summer
  • She is studying Resources & Environmental Management at SFU, and wants a career in conservation!
  • She loved working on The Nature Trust’s Francis Point conservation area, building boardwalks through the woods
  • She enjoyed learning how the BC Coast’s many ecosystems are unique from one another!

Sylvie Hawkes

  • Sylvie has been a huge part of the West Coast Field Crew this year
  • She loves estuary resilience work, having done a ton of work to help BC wildlife
  • Recently, she helped plant over 800 plants at the Nanaimo River Estuary
  • She loves experiencing community engagement, Indigenous ecological knowledge, and wildlife populations rebounding!

These amazing people did some fantastic work this year, but they are far from the only ones. So many others contributed to The Nature Trust in an incredible way!

Thank you so very much to every Crew member in 2022. We can’t wait to see you out in the field again as soon as possible. Donate to our Giving Tuesday campaign to make their work possible right here!