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Science & NatureNatureKen Allison – MVFN Champion for Nature, 2024

Ken Allison – MVFN Champion for Nature, 2024

Ken Allison is a “wildlife ecologist/naturalist/educator”; extraordinaire!

He earned his B.Sc. from the University of Guelph and completed a career working for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency where he was a specialist in the assessment of risks to Canada’s food supply posed by invasive plants. He was deeply involved with the Ottawa Field Naturalists Club, and acted as President in 2008-2009. He came to MVFN in 2012 and, since 2017, has volunteered to be the lead animator for the Nature Sightings portion of our monthly Nature Talks.

He has served on the MVFN board for four years and was President for two. Ken is an active member of the MVFN Birding Committee, of which he is currently the chair, and assists with or leads many of their activities. He is an active member of ONO (Ontario Field Ornithologists), acting as a trip leader during their Annual Convention weekend. He is also a very active member of ebird Canada as well as the leading bird identifier for the MMLT (Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust).

In addition, Ken is, by far, the leading contributor to the MVFN Lanark County Bio-Diversity i-Naturalist project. Ken’s willingness to lead nature walks on his own woodland property and lead tours of other natural areas has meant that he is constantly in demand. His citizen science activities are numerous, including moth, turtle and amphibian studies. He also participates in the Lanark County Stewardship Council project “Grassland Birds”.

Ken is a resource person for the volunteers who manage the Butterfly Garden at the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority’s Perth Wildlife Reserve. And Ken has agreed to maintain David White’s list of “Plants of Lanark County Ontario”. During the prolonged pandemic years, when MVFN members were not allowed to meet in person either to experience nature or even to talk about it, Ken redoubled his efforts to keep us connected.

Through countless Zoom opportunities, he was able to continue the sharing of nature sightings using observations logged on to our iNaturalist project, photos submitted to our email account and telephone calls from members! Ken brought us Birding by Ear, a 5-part series, also virtual, that had an attendance of approximately 50 households and he offered refresher courses for more seasoned birders. He introduced us to the Birding Website, Dendroica, entertaining us and educating us at the same time!

It is because of all of the above, and much, much more, that tonight we are thrilled to present Ken Allison with the MVFN Champion for Nature Award. Congratulations, Ken! We would like to give credit and thanks to Nish Nabe for the carving of the nuthatch placed on driftwood prepared by Bob Smith.

Photo credit Louise Beckinsale.  

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