|The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club
The OFNC Conservation Award - Non-Member is given in recognition of an outstanding contribution by a non-member in the cause of natural history conservation in the Ottawa Valley, with particular emphasis on activities within the Ottawa District.
For nine years, Madeline Kallio has been the driving force behind the National Capital Region Wildlife Festival. Through its Wildlife Awareness event, library programs, public forums, guided nature walks and more, the festival has, for many years, introduced the general public to natural history and the concept of conservation.
While the festival appears to run effortlessly, in fact, a tremendous amount of organization and year-round planning is required. Madeline Kallio chairs the festival committee, which meets approximately 11 times a year, produces the minutes, and attends to the thousand and one details that arise. She is the liaison with the Billings Bridge Shopping Centre (where the wildlife awareness event takes place), drawing up detailed floor plans, ensuring that everything needed to make this particular event run smoothly is taken care of. She is also the link with all the exhibitors, contacting them each year, determining their requirements and making sure they have the right location for their exhibit. She staffs the Wildlife Festival booth for the entire three days and is always available should other exhibitors need assistance. Coordinating an event of this magnitude and ensuring that it runs smoothly requires skill, good organizational abilities and huge time commitments. Madeline also writes all the grant proposals, and constantly seeks new ways to fund this event. In addition, she writes, produces and prints the festival's events brochure. A few years ago, she came up with the brilliant idea of developing a map of greenspaces in eastern Ontario where people can explore nature. Called "On the Trail of Mother Nature" this large, full-colour map, prepared, researched, and primarily designed by Madeline, has been a huge success with several updates and thousands of copies distributed.
Madeline is full of ideas for making the festival ever more interesting. One example is the library program series, which is so popular that presenters from previous years contact Madeline to make sure they are included in the current line-up, while libraries begin asking for information well in advance of the festival itself. She encouraged the idea of a public forum (now in its fifth year), has been instrumental in organizing the festival's Environmental Awards ceremony, and probably has a hundred other ideas just waiting to burst forth! Endlessly resourceful, energetic, and tireless, Madeline is always willing to step in and pick up where needed. On top of all this, Madeline is always a calming, cheerful presence, seemingly unflappable, and without a doubt is the glue that holds the festival together!
The OFNC is proud to recognize Madeline Kallio for her outstanding efforts on behalf of nature and conservation in the Ottawa region, and in particular for her work with the National Capital Region Wildlife Festival.