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: Adrian Ashcroft
We sat down with Adrian to chat a little bit about his volunteer role at FortWhyte Alive, and what inspired him to get involved in his community.
Tell us a little bit about what you do at FortWhyte Alive.
Within School Programs, I‘ve led many of the nature programs for elementary school kids in both English and French. I also enjoy doing navigation, weather, farm programs, and voyageur fur trading as well as the cultural history program, People of the Prairies.
Occasionally I do Corporate Programs, which are one-time guided experiences with adult groups from anywhere in North America and sometimes overseas. The more exotic the group, the more I like it. Once I guided a group of retired police women from various cities in the US. One of them gave me a City of Milwaukee Police shoulder patch.
What interested you in becoming a volunteer?
There were many reasons: my of love nature, teaching, cultural history, weather and
meeting people. When I found out I could also work in French, that was a bonus!
What can other volunteers expect to gain from their experience at FWA and what have you gained from your time at FWA?
I’ve met with many volunteers, and they come from varied backgrounds and interests. Younger volunteers can gain valuable experience for careers in teaching, environmental professions, and interacting with the public. For retired volunteers like myself, it’s an opportunity to further develop skills already learned and to learn new ones. Also, working in an outdoor, natural environment is very therapeutic.
In addition to the above benefits, it gave me a reason to continue studying in many areas. One of them was French, which I had studied for many years, but I had never worked with it. Now my spoken French is better than it has ever been.
What would you say to someone interested in volunteering?
I invite others to volunteer because I know there is always a need for volunteers at FWA, and I like helping people find ways to fulfil themselves in a way they’ve never dreamed possible.
What’s your favourite memory from your time volunteering?
I have a lot of special memories of kids with stories to tell. One in particular was a boy about grade two-or-three. He was very enthusiastic about telling me about his love for farming. I asked him if he would like to be a farmer when he grew up. He answered, “I’m a farmer now!”
He went on to explain how his father had given him the care and feeding of one hog. This little guy must have had a great father.
From all of us, thank you Adrian for your commitment and motivation to create change in our community.
Head to fortwhyte.org/volunteering to learn more and apply today.