Volunteer Appreciation at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

72 volunteers contributed more than 10,000 hours over this past season.

With higher temperatures and humid weather moving in, Florida’s “snowbirds” are already beginning their northward migration. This means saying “see you next season” to many dedicated volunteers at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

To show appreciation for 72 dedicated volunteers who contributed more than 10,000 hours over this past season, Sanctuary staff hosted an appreciation event on March 29 sponsored by Panther Island Mitigation Bank. With a theme of sunflowers, the event encouraged volunteers to enjoy a cocktail party on the back patio and listen to remarks and accolades shared by staff about their impact. Volunteer Engagement Coordinator Kristina O’Hern and Sanctuary Director Lisa Korte presented the 2021 Audubon Florida Volunteer of the Year Award to Joan Dunn. All volunteers received their annual pin, this year featuring the beautiful southeastern sunflower (Helianthus agrestis) that brings so much beauty to the sanctuary each fall, designed by longtime volunteer and artist Leslie Burgess. 

After the formal presentation, the volunteers were encouraged to “breathe in the beauty” of the Sanctuary with a special, after-hours boardwalk stroll, complete with calls for reflection while uplifting voices of indigenous people, including the quotation below.

“When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.”

– Alanis Obomsawim, acclaimed Canadian filmmaker and member of the Abenaki people.

Volunteers enjoyed hors d'oeuvres and and sweets, sponsored by Panther Island Mitigation Bank.
Campus hosts and volunteers Vicki and Lamont Landrum.
Socializing on the patio.
Director of Conservation Marshall Olson making remarks.
Sanctuary Director Lisa Korte, PhD, presented Joan Dunn with the Audubon Florida Volunteer of the Year Award.
The crowd was on its feet after Joan Dunn's award acceptance speech.
Signs with inspirational messages were placed around the short loop during the event.

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