At CREA’s Annual Meeting on June 28th, CREA President Ellen Bennett presented longtime volunteer and Board Member Ron Strand with the Founders’ Award for “his dedication to CREA and its mission, his tireless efforts to ensure the community has a wonderful on-site experience by maintaining the Ecology Center and its trails in pristine condition, and for warmly welcoming all who visit.”
Ron is a nearly constant presence at the Ecology Center. He shows up, day after day, and looks around to see what needs attention. Then he takes cares of it and finds people to help when necessary. He has a tremendous skill set that is invaluable to us and saves countless dollars we would have to pay others to do this work.
Ron will scavenge and salvage any item he thinks can be used at the EC, repurpose every scrap of wood he can find, and repair equipment. He maintains the facility, grounds, and trails, preps for CREA camp, inventories tools and equipment, ferries water to the camp handwashing station, and so much more. It’s impossible to list all that Ron does to support CREA (although you can find a partial list here!).
In short, the Ecology Center would not be in the pristine condition it is today without his involvement and tender loving care.
In accepting the Founders’ Award, Ron recognized those who work alongside him, especially his two most frequent assistants, Bob Perry and Joann Strand. Bringing a moment of levity to the award, fellow Board member and CREA Treasurer Bob Perry quipped, “The list of Ron’s responsibilities included, ‘maintaining the solar system.’ Now Ron’s good, but he’s not God! He may maintain the solar panels, but not the solar system!”
It’s worth noting that the very next morning, Ron was back at the Ecology Center addressing a carpenter ant issue in our outhouse shed! We are profoundly grateful to Ron for his quiet, behind-the-scenes leadership in keeping our facility beautiful and functional and for being a wonderful CREA ambassador to all who visit.
For a transcript of the award presentation, click here.