2021 Volunteers of the Year
By Karen Belville

Volunteers of the year photoFrom left: Karen Belville and Judy Huck, 2021 Volunteer of the Year.
Photos by Thomas Anderson.
Judy Huck has been active with the Amigos for more than a decade. She is a Naturalist, serves on the Board of Directors, volunteers with FLOW, helps with outreach events, assists with grant writing and research, and rarely misses an Education Committee meeting. Judy really stepped up during the COVID shut down period. She was strong, steady, reliable, and reassuring, an anchor for me, kept us on course. Judy was the zoom host for Tom Pfiefer’s virtual “Live from the Wetlands” classes. We did a total of five sessions (practice run, Environmental Club, two AP Environmental Science classes, and a Marine Biology class). Judy has hosted all the education committee meetings on Zoom and also sent out the invitations, agendas and minutes. Judy participated in many committees to support Amigos: the committee to update our digital presence and strategy, the retreat planning committee and the 2022 World Wetlands Day planning committee. And also for 2022, Judy has volunteered to be the organization’s Secretary. Most of all I appreciate Judy’s positive, diplomatic, calm manner. Always encouraging, staying on course with wisdom and integrity, always focusing on what really matters to protect our environment. Thank you Judy!

Volunteers of the year photoFrom left: Karen Belville and Annie Daw, 2021 Volunteer of the Year.
My first encounter with Annie Daw was during a school tour a few years ago. Annie was doing the FLOW water collection and lesson with the students on the bridge. Sharon Von Dollen and I were there, feeling apprehensive about our portion of the tour. Annie’s comment was so uplifting and reassuring: “This is probably my favorite time of the week. I just love doing FLOW with the students.” Annie stepped up during the COVID shut down period. She has been our ray of sunshine. Annie helped develop the Self-Guided tour (walked it, answered the questions, gave feedback), serves on the education committee and is currently the committee’s note-taker. She was our “cinematographer” and sometimes speaker for the “Live from the Wetlands” with Tom Pfeifer’s classes, the UCI Science Summer Project and a tour for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She was instrumental in figuring out the lens, microphones and purchasing what we needed. She helped FLOW’s reopening at Bolsa Chica State Beach, made several trips to locate keys after our long absence, met with Elizabeth Bailey, State Beach Interpretive Specialist, to do inventory and restore relationships with State Beach staff. She assisted with Coastal Cleanup and the Amigos last Saturday of the month cleanup. She joined the Board of Directors and serves on the committee for updating our digital presence and strategy. And Annie just completed Naturalist training. Annie does it all, always with enthusiasm and a smile! Thank you Annie.

Volunteers of the year photoNancy Boyd-Batstone, 2021 Volunteer of the Year.
Nancy Boyd-Batstone has been a tremendous asset for the Amigos for many years. About ten years ago, high school student Kathryn Boyd-Batstone came to the Amigos to assist with the design of the Coastal Wetlander Activity Book. Kathryn’s mother, Nancy, made sure Kathryn attended all the meetings necessary to develop the book and was impressed by the result of the project. Nancy soon took the Naturalist Training class and began regular participation in the First Saturday of the month Public Tours. Nancy really stepped up during the COVID shutdown and became a trusted “Boots on the Ground” Amigo. She attended Education Committee meetings and offered valuable ideas and support. She helped develop the Self-Guided tour (walked it, answered questions, gave feedback, established NGSS standards for students); she was the speaker for the “Live from the Wetlands “Ecology/Plants portion of Tom Pfiefer’s classes and the UCI Summer Science program. She was so helpful in locating an appropriate lens, providing props and organizing the presentations.

Nancy has also met with UCI Science Project staff many times on zoom as well as in person to coordinate and brainstorm future projects. This past summer she planned, facilitated and participated in the HB Public Library Festival, and supported their summer reading program by researching appropriate books for Amigos Storytime, We are the Water Protectors. She also helped organize and facilitate the “We Love our State Parks” Girl Scout tour last September. Nancy served on the committee to develop a new format for the Naturalist Program and assisted with the training and field trips. She also serves on the Board of Directors and has graciously accepted the Education Committee Chair position. Nancy is my “go to” person for fact finding, research, resources and wisdom. Always open to listening and considering new ideas. Love our walk and talks! Steady, reliable, conscientious, dedicated, and supportive. I couldn’t have made it through those COVID times without you! Thank you Nancy.