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The Unexpected Impacts of Volunteering in Nature

Posted on February 27, 2019

Volunteers from all walks of life are the lifeblood of FortWhyte Alive. Volunteers are the ones on the ground, cultivating relationships with nature and making a difference in real time. You make the magic happen, FortWhyte Alive volunteers!

Volunteer Spotlight: Lorraine McLean and Bev Bolton

Twenty years ago, Lorraine was looking for something to fill the space left after the recent loss of her husband. Bev, her sister, wanted to be supportive – when Lorraine saw an ad in the newspaper for volunteer positions at FortWhyte, they decided to sign up together.

The two sisters thoroughly enjoyed their very first volunteer shifts during Migration Season, working together at the concessions. They have many happy memories of meeting visitors and enjoying the big moment when the geese and gulls land on the lakes at sunset.

The Unexpected Impacts of Volunteering

According to Bev, the sisters say they had “no idea” that they could expect to meet such good people and find such meaningful friendships through volunteering. The two women have found that FortWhyte Alive attracts interesting people who are young at heart, making it a safe place to step out of your comfort zone and learn new things

Their 20+ years of volunteering in nature has also encouraged Lorraine and Bev to be more aware of the environment and make a difference through sustainable living.

20 Years (and Counting)

Today, the two sisters volunteer in a role administering a key component of our monthly communication with FortWhyte Alive Members. Lorraine and Bev have administrative backgrounds and their keen attention to detail lends well for this role – and means they get to volunteer together.

Lorraine also volunteers regularly on Saturdays as the Information Desk Attendant as one of the welcoming face of FortWhyte Alive. This role requires her to attend regular training and stay up-to-date on seasonal events and happenings. What makes this role special to her is the connection to young families that enjoy their time seeing the wildlife and exploring the Interpretive Centre.

Challenging Others to Connect

Bev and Lorraine challenge volunteers to invite their friends to be part of the FortWhyte volunteer program. There are many opportunities to get connected, find your fit – and maybe spend the next twenty years with this supportive, volunteer community.

Thank you!

From all of us, thank you Lorraine and Bev for your commitment and motivation to create change in our community.

Head to to learn more and apply today.