Swan Lake, home to more than 180 bird species, is a spot where Greater Victoria residents can enjoy nature in the middle of the urban municipality. (Michal Klajban/Wikimedia Commons)

Swan Lake seeks candidates for board of directors willing to be ‘paid in cookies’

Nominations close Feb. 8 for the six spots available on the new board

Nominations are open for the Swan Lake and Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary’s new Board of Directors.

The Nature Sanctuary is seeking volunteers with a flair for leadership and innovation to serve on the 2020/2021 board.

Board members can serve a maximum of three two-year terms, but elections are held annually because the terms are staggered so that each board has members with experience, explained Kathleen Burton, executive director of the Nature Sanctuary.

The board can have a maximum of 12 directors, but the 2019/2020 board had only 10 members – four of whom will be running again in the election as their two-year terms are up, Burton noted. This means that six spots are available for interested candidates. The new directors will be elected by the Nature Sanctuary members at the annual general meeting on April 9.

The board would be best served by business-minded people who are environmental advocates, have a background in accounting, have expertise in legal or biological fields and a passion for keeping Swan Lake beautiful, Burton said.

Directors also need to understand that the role is voluntary and that they’ll be “paid in cookies,” Burton said with a laugh.

Each year, the board works on various big projects. In the past, the floating boardwalk repairs were the board’s main goal, but for 2020, Burton expects the future of the South Wharf to be the focus. The wharf is old and either needs to be removed and allowed to return to nature or repaired for an estimated sum of $250,000, she noted.

Burton pointed out that serving on the board is “gratifying” and that while the work can be hard, it’s “fun” and the outcomes are valued by all who visit or work in the park. She also noted that 2020 is the Nature Sanctuary’s 45th anniversary which will make this an exciting year for the board.

Candidates don’t need to be Saanich residents but must be 18 or older and eligible to serve on the board. It is stipulated on the nomination form that the candidate and the person nominating them must be current members of the Nature Society.

Annual memberships can be purchased for $35 by phoning 250-479-0211 or emailing info@swanlake.bc.ca, Burton said. Nominations close Feb. 8.

Nomination forms can be accessed on the website and for more information, interested parties can contact Christine Morisette, chair of the nominating committee, by emailing cmorissette@telus.net or calling 250-475-0211.


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