Volunteer of the Month: Scott Savage

25 Mar 2021

Our newest volunteer of the month is Scott Savage, who has been a wide-ranging Property Guardian “at large” since February 2020.

His love for outdoors and nature started young while growing up in northeastern Ontario. “Even though I lived in the small city of Sudbury,” he says, “I spent all weekends and family vacations outdoors in the woods.”

But as years passed, he felt that he was losing touch with nature. “I was always outdoors, but life got in the way of actually appreciating it. Being employed in the military has afforded me to experience nature in several provinces and territories. My last time in southeastern Ontario had me wanting to get back to nature; I found that I was missing something and started to realize I wanted nature back in my life. However, this time I wanted to give back; upon being posted back to Nova Scotia, I knew I wanted to help out. I needed to help out.”

Scott with his wife, Odette

Even before he found the Nature Trust, he found ways to engage. “My wife and I would always bring a garbage bag whenever we went hiking. Everywhere we go, we’d fill up a garbage bag. So I thought, maybe there’s something more I can do to give back while I’m enjoying the outdoors.” He quickly found the Nature Trust website and reached out in fall 2019. “Right before Covid started, I went down to an introductory Property Guardians briefing at the Nature Trust office and I just went from there,” he says. “I wanted to get out and do something!”

While many Property Guardians choose to take on specific areas, Scott has already gotten out to a number of Nature Trust lands all over the province. “I just look at Joanna’s list of places that are trickier to send people, decide where I can get to, and budget my time to do it,” he says. “I’ll visit any ones they have, in any part of the province! Because wherever it is, there’s going to be something unique there to see and to document, and to notice what kind of care it might need. And they are places I’d probably otherwise never get myself out to.”

“It’s very rewarding to get out there as a volunteer. I usually go out with my son, Brandon, or my son-in-law, Trevor, who always says, It’s like going hiking with a purpose! You’re going not only to see a great view, or something unique, or pretty orchids, but you’re picking up garbage, or going to the waypoints to take photos, check on damage, extra growth, invasive species, see the general condition of the property. And as a Property Guardian, I get to go to amazing properties that are off the beaten track and see things I’ve never seen before. That’s great in its own way, because I’m there to help preserve this place, and I know that there’s only a handful of people that might get to see the things I’m seeing.”

Scott is also looking to learn from the Nature Trust. “On my first trip out with Joanna, she identified some tiny toads that I would never have noticed. But she did!” He notes that “If you’re walking quickly or you’re not taking time to observe, then you’re missing things. So we’re learning how to help preserve species you might not even see.”

“I’m doing this for the future,” Scott says. “To preserve it for my kids, my grandkids, for other peoples’ grandkids, so everybody will have a chance to see it. I want to help future generations experience nature in the way I did as a child.” Thank you for bringing your inspiration and your lifelong curiosity to this work, Scott – we’re grateful to have you as a Property Guardian!

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