by Victoria Otton
Christina and John Saremba have provided many years of outstanding volunteer service to BMN. They have served on our Board, and Christina was our VP for four years. Both have led several of our committees. Most notably, they created and co-chaired a Strategic Planning Committee during which they conducted a survey of BMN members, and used the information gathered to help our Board map out the club’s future directions.
One of the recommendations for future efforts was to enhance community outreach, and Christina immediately got to work implementing ways to achieve this. She became our first Volunteer Coordinator; she created a new club logo which brands all of our output; and she oversaw the updating of our website.
Christina was also the driving force behind production of our 40-page guidebook for children called “Discover Nature in the Tri-Cities”. Christina’s most recent contribution was chairing the Organizing Committee of the BC Nature Fall Conference hosted by BMN in October 2019. Everyone who attended can attest to her talent for planning and conducting events!
In 2016, John created the BMN Bat Team, a citizen-science based program to promote conservation of local bats. The team does regular bat monitoring surveys (to which the public are invited), and they participate in the BC Ministry of Environment’s monitoring for signs of White Nose Syndrome. John gives public presentations on bats in classrooms and in the field, and he regularly works with property owners (including condo developments) to provide more bat habitat through proper installation of bat boxes. He has also formed a partnership between BMN and Humane Solutions Inc. to offer suitable exclusion methods and bat boxes to homeowners. John provides advice on the formation of bat teams by other nature clubs. John has many other bat-related initiatives, and he conservatively estimates that he devoted more than 1000 hours to his bat-related volunteer work in the past year.
Marg Cuthbert, BC Nature Education Chair, Christina Saremba, John Saremba, Victoria Otton, BMN President.
Photo credit: John Cuthbert