We love our volunteer family, and this month we’re happy to shine the spotlight on a new member of our family, Joy Beck!
Joy moved to Cobble Hill about a year and a half ago from Alberta, where she worked as a journalist and then a kindergarten teacher. When we asked her “Why do you volunteer?”, she said it was because of a snake named Sophie. Joy tells the story here in her own words:
“Why do I volunteer? Well, I think it’s partly because of a snake named Sophie. Sophie is a gopher snake who lives at the nature centre in Lethbridge. She was raised in a pet store so she is tame and can be handled, but she serves as an ambassador for her wild cousins of a similar species that live on the prairies. Many people love to touch Sophie, and even hold her. Others are horrified and keep their distance. My hairdresser told me she refused to ever set foot in the nature centre because of that snake!
That’s why Sophie came to represent the natural world to me. Like her, sometimes it seems exquisitely beautiful, sometimes it seems fearsome and harsh. Either way, it’s a world we are a part of and the nature centre provides such a great opportunity for people to explore some of that world and their connection to it.
I love learning about the estuary, which is all new to a prairie person like me, but you know, my favourite part of this experience is meeting all of you who also volunteer or work at the centre. So much enthusiasm and friendliness — and sometimes Madeline brings cinnamon buns! Haley calls it a family and I’m so happy to be a part of that!”