Bob & Dessie Howard: Regular Monthly Champions of Conservation
04 Mar 2020
By Andrew Robinson (Nature Trust Volunteer)
A visit to Nova Scotia in 1987 set the path for what would become a more than 20-year legacy of monthly support for the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. After that first visit, Bob Howard knew this would be his future home, although it would be 2002 before the he and his wife Dessie would be able to emigrate from their native USA.
“We visited frequently before making the final move,” said Bob, “And it was on one of those visits that we discovered the Nature Trust, back in 1999. We saw a poster about the McKinnon’s Brook Suite and fundraising for the Nature Trust. We also connected to the Trust through Marty Janowitz, an old friend who was involved with the Nature Trust at that time.”
Bob and Dessie felt that the valuable work of the Nature Trust deserved regular support, so they began monthly donations even when they were still US residents. “I owned a Landscape Design and Contracting business for many years, and I know how important it is to have a dependable income stream. We hope our small donation helps the ongoing sustainability of the Nature Trust,” said Bob. “It’s easy to fill out the donation card. It’s good to see how the Trust is growing and protecting more natural environments year after year. We hope more people will join in.”
“We had a lovely time recently on a Nature Trust ‘Connect with Nature’ event when we took two of our grandkids kayaking,” said Dessie. “The Trust does such amazing work, not just in conservation but also by engaging the public with hikes, volunteer activities, information and so on.”
Bob and Dessie left Halifax when Bob retired, and in 2011 they settled in Granville Beach, just outside Annapolis Royal. Drawn to the quality of life, the forests and farms and small towns in the Valley, they are reminded constantly of the need for organizations such as the Nature Trust.
“The loss of birds and wild animals and of big, old trees worries me,” said Dessie. “I’ve been a hiker since I was a teenager. I love being in nature. Of course, people have to make a living. But we also need to share the natural world, not only with our children but also with other creatures. With our monthly donations we feel like we are helping the Nature Trust preserve some of the most valuable and pristine wilderness areas, now and for future generations.”