It is a great pleasure to write this, and to have it published on Earth Day 2021! On the 4th day of National Volunteer Week, HAT’s Land Protection coordinator Barb von Sacken would like to celebrate Alf Birch. Alf is one of HAT’s most dedicated volunteers, and has found a way to get involved in nearly every aspect of what HAT does!
(Alf, centre, with partner Robbi Birch at the HAT Ice Cream Social, 2021)
For many years, Alf has helped with the covenants program, taking part in site visits and monitoring, and always offering his calm, professional, and friendly support while exploring the ecological values of covenanted properties. Always one to laugh easily, or even make their workmates laugh, Alf is always able to take a little of the bite out of the cold rain, and add to the warmth of the sun. Those are important qualities when spending time working on restoration projects, and Alf has never been one to turn down an opportunity to get his hands into the earth and to share what care he can.
Recently, Alf has been one of the leading forces on the Wildfire Management Strategy, a project that has been working to identify strategies for implementing fire-based management in the region. With many meetings, thousands of pages of text read, synthesized, summarized, and shared, Alf has really gone above simply volunteering his time to make this important project one that has remained in focus.
Perhaps more importantly than the time Alf volunteers with HAT is his role in the HAT community. Alf knows everyone at HAT by name, is keen to chat with each of us about projects that are ongoing and how things are in the area, and manages to find even more time to show up at many of HAT’s social gatherings. His dedication to ecosystem support and conservation in Southern Vancouver Island is second only to his dedication to being a strong, friendly member of his community.
Thanks for all of the work, Alf!