|The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club
The Member of the Year award is given in recognition of a member who has contributed significantly to the Club in the previous year. Carla Hilado has worked at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden for three years, and during that time has assumed more and more responsibilities, offering to help where needed, making practical suggestions, and initiating projects.
Carla joined the OFNC in 2001, and 2005 she joined the Backyard Garden group which meets each Friday morning throughout the gardening season at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden. She was interested in gardening and networking with other naturalists. As a recent graduate of the University of Guelph, with a degree in Wildlife Biology, she felt that she could contribute to the FWG and at the same time, learn from others. She soon discovered that this was indeed a great learning opportunity amidst wonderful company. Very soon, she decided that she would like to contribute more to other areas of the garden, as well as continuing to work in the BYG.
One of the FWG projects which caught her eye was the creation of a new addition to the Butterfly Meadow. A newly formed group began meeting on Wednesday evenings. In addition to planting wildflowers, much work has been dedicated to controlling the invasive pale swallowwort (dog-strangling vine.) Removal of this plant is not everyone's cup of tea, but Carla has been a constant and persistent hard-working presence, dedicated to making sure that the newly planted wildflowers are not over-run by the swallowwort. In 2007, she began work on mapping the Butterfly Meadow, seed collection, and seed preparation, with other garden volunteers.
Carla has also helped out in other areas, such as removing invasive plants from the FWG Amphibian Pond.
Recently, Carla initiated organization of all the FWG brochures and information sheets. She created a spreadsheet that keeps track of the number of brochures and information sheets FWG has. Using this system makes it easier to establish how many of these items have been used and when the stock needs replenishing. This very organized system is a wonderful innovation for the FWG.
Carla's quiet presence and unassuming air, sometimes leads one to overlook the work that she does. But she has contributed much to the garden, is a reliable and careful worker, and is absolutely dependable. She is also a real pleasure to work with. For all these reasons, we are proud to give Carla Hilado the OFNC's Member of the Year award.