“rare is a place where nature is respected and valued in and of itself, and where scientists are working to help us understand how we can live more harmoniously with it.” – Nancy.
In Harmony with Nature—rare to me, Nancy Froklage
The overgrown vines and old shed are no match for the positive smile and can-do spirit of one of rare’s most dedicated volunteers. Whistling and working away in the backyard garden of Lamb’s Inn under the warm fall sun you may have seen Nancy Froklage – always with a smile on her face and often a pair of garden sheers or other tools in hand!
It is the idea of rare that sparks a light in Nancy’s eyes “to know there is always an osprey soaring, swallows swooping, deer grazing, butterflies fluttering, salamanders rustling in the leaves, and fish acting fishy, whether I am there to see it or not…it is our very own piece of wilderness smack dab in the middle of an urban area. It is miraculous.”
Nancy, a retired librarian and teacher, found an opportunity to continue to lead a purposeful life when she began to volunteer with rare over four years ago. As Nancy describes it, she sees rare as a place that someone like famous Canadian author Margret Atwood, a fervent conservationist, would envision. In Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, a bone chilling dystopia about the consequences of blithely continuing on our current destructive path, a dedicated group of people tries to nurture nature back to health. This dedication and passion for protecting the environment is what attracted Nancy to start volunteering with rare.
Over the years, Nancy has been actively involved with the Every Child Outdoors (ECO) education program, volunteering with both Summer and March Break ECO Camps and her vibrant and enthusiastic personality has also been a welcomed addition to many fundraising initiatives, including the annual Walk & Run for rare. Nancy’s current favourite project at rare is to bring the heritage gardens at the reserve’s administrative headquarters, the historic Lamb’s Inn built in 1837, to their original splendor.
As a retired educator Nancy hopes to work with rare to inspire many more young people to join the fight to preserve nature. She feels strongly about training the next generation of conservationists and hopes that places like rare become more commonplace in urban planning, rather than exceptional.
The rare reserve wouldn’t be able to accomplish its conservation, research and education mission without the passion and dedication of many volunteers and supporters like Nancy. There are many opportunities to become involved with rare, and we would love to have you as part of the rare family. Contact Cheyanne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-650-9336 x 126 for volunteer and other support opportunities- and thank you for everything you do!
- Written by Cheyanne Richardson for the rare Review Newsletter, Winter 2015
- Featured image by P Kelly