By Jason Beverlin
Deputy Director of the Illinois River Program
November 2008 — We are thrilled that Emiquon volunteer Cindy McGrew has been named Volunteer of the Year by The Nature Conservancy in Illinois. This is the inaugural year for the annual award program that will allow us to recognize the critical work of our volunteers across the state into the future.
People like Cindy are essential to our work, making unique and valuable contributions. Cindy is a third grade teacher in nearby Havana, and shares her respect for the outdoors with her many students. She has been with Emiquon from the start, when she joined the Emiquon Corps of Discovery to help document the restoration through art. Since then, she initiated and has managed an Eastern Bluebird nesting program that has brought 250 bluebirds to our wetland.
For years, Cindy has attended to every detail of bluebird nesting, ensuring the safety of chicks. Whenever I see a flicker of those bright blue feathers passing by, I see how our volunteers are literally making our world brighter.