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  • Armand Bayou

    Nature Center

    Volunteer Newsletter

    Bayou foliage F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 5 V O L U M E 3 4 , I S S U E 2


    1 Sundays In Nature

    6 Prairie Friday

    7 Stewardship Saturday

    Who pooped here class

    8 Taste of Birds class

    12 Volunteer Board meet

    Volunteer meeting

    13 Prairie Friday

    14 Volunteer Orientation

    15 Sundays in Nature

    19 Bayou Foliage deadline

    20 Prairie Friday

    21 Stewardship Saturday

    27 Prairie Friday

    28 Volunteer Orientation


    When you are finished

    with this publication

    please recycle it.


    Our Volunteer Chair Person for the past 3 years, Liz

    Van Orstrand was chosen by the staff to be singled out

    for the prestigious Volunteer of the Year Award. No

    one can deny this was a great decision, and she well

    deserves it.

    This reporter visited several of the staff to find out

    what qualities they have noticed …

    Heather Milar’s favorite impression of Liz is how she

    finds teachable moments as the visitors walk along on

    a hike. “Liz is always up for anything.”

    Kathy Gardner enjoys Liz’s contagious attitude; friend-

    ly, outgoing and approachable.

    Barbara Baxter, speaking for the front desk crew, calls Liz a sweetheart, and just

    “can’t say enough nice things”; she does whatever is needed and then some.

    Mark Kramer spoke of Liz contributing to so many facets of the nature center,

    particularly as a deck hand on the Bayou Ranger besides all the other qualities

    mentioned so far. What stands out in his mind is her enthusiastic learning on the


    Our Executive Director, Tom Kartrude summed it up during the meeting as he

    lead up to the announcement: “I am confident you will not find another nonprofit

    organization in this region with the scale of activity and responsibility that operates

    without a professional volunteer coordinator on staff. Here at ABNC that is only

    possible because of the leadership team within the ranks of the volunteer organi-

    zation itself. And that leadership team is the product of the exceptional level of

    effort and commitment of one especially dedicated and capable crew member. She

    leads a great hike, she runs a great meeting, she chairs a great fall festival, and she

    inspires us all.”

    As a volunteer board member, I wish to add my applause with the staff, the past

    two years have been a joy to work with Liz and the rest under her direction. I

    look forward to an even greater 2015.

  • From the Chair

    Tom Kartrude Ext 11

    Barbara Baxter Ext 18

    Susan Millsap Ext 10

    Mike Maglitto Ext 10

    Janice Schrager Ext 12

    Kathy Gardner Ext 13

    Heather Millar Ext 14

    Dave Kovach Ext 16

    Mark Kramer Ext 15

    Jessica Collier Ext 17

    Zach Roper Ext 20

    P A G E 2

    Armand Bayou

    Nature Center




    Chair Liz VanOrstrand 281-480-8296 [email protected]

    Vice-chair Joe Bryan 409-933-4087 [email protected]

    Secretary Tom Scarsella 281-532-2107 [email protected]

    Treasurer Eleanor Stanley 713-455-1502 no email

    Administrative Gaye Batiz 713-518-5759 [email protected]

    Facilities Jim Frantz 281-470-0946 [email protected]

    Greeters/Interpreters Polly Swerdlin 281-814-4606 [email protected]

    Outreach Susan Millsap 281-538-6695 [email protected]

    Stewardship Ed Craven 917-921-8290 [email protected]

    Weekday Education Madeleine Barnes 281-474-9406 [email protected]

    Weekend Demos Polly Swerdlin 281-814-4606 [email protected]

    Weekend Trails Karen Sutera 281-474-5087 [email protected]

    Webmaster Shawn Gano 832-314-1608 [email protected]

    Bayou Foliage Editor Polly Swerdlin(temp) 281-814-4606 [email protected]



    B A Y O U F O L I A G E

    Staff Email addresses

    are ‘firstname’

    Example: [email protected]

    (except Susan is:

    [email protected] for the

    front desk)

    This year has started on a very high note for me and I

    have all of you to thank for that. I am very honored to

    have been awarded Armand Bayou Volunteer of the

    Year. The level of experience and education that so

    many of our volunteers shared with ABNC is inspira-

    tion to me. I am truly humbled by all that I have

    learned from so many of our ABNC volunteers. I am

    very pleased to know that even though my back-

    ground is as an administrator, I have been able to

    help with the mission here at ABNC to “Reconnecting

    People to Nature”. So, thank you all for all your help

    and inspiration this year.

    When I started volunteering in 2006, it was because

    nature has always been a very important part of my

    spiritual journey. The Buddha taught, “Just as a can-

    dle cannot burn without fire, humans cannot live

    without a spiritual life”. In my journey, I have learned

    that when I see something that needs to be done and

    I do it with an open heart, I will find happiness. Ed

    Adams was a perfect example of a person who lived

    life to his full potential. He was the type of volunteer I

    hope to become.

    I share this with you now because there are so many

    different reasons why people come to visit ABNC and

    even more reasons why people stay and volunteer

    here. We all come from different background and life

    experiences. In February, we will be having our New

    Volunteer Orientation classes. We have about 40

    people who have completed applications who are

    eligible for this class. We are asking them to become

    one of us, but what can they expect from us?

    Once the orientation class is complete, we have

    planned continuing education classes every month

    through May. All our new volunteers are encouraged

    to attend the March volunteer meeting, so that we

    can all meet. I am asking our entire seasoned volun-

    teers to consider becoming a mentor to one of our

    newer volunteers. This mentorship is very important

    on so many levels. The connections we make now will

    help them to become comfortable volunteering and

    will help bond us as a volunteer organization to each


    Please consider being a mentor, it is time to pay it


    Liz VanOrstrand

    Volunteer Chairperson

    Liz VanOrstrand

    Volunteer Chair


    mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected]

  • Volunteer Meeting Minutes January 8, 2015

    P A G E 3 V O L U M E 3 4 , I S S U E 2

    Treasurer’s Report December 2014

    Beginning Balance $3660.10

    Expenditures: 0

    Total Expenditures 0

    Income: 0

    Total Income 0

    Current Balance $3660.10

    The Staff of ABNC hosted the volunteers and guests

    to a wonderful Cajun dinner in recognition of the ser-

    vice that is contributed by the volunteers. The theme

    was in keeping with the Olde French Settlement on

    Middle Bayou, now referred to as Armand Bayou.

    Around 80 volunteers, guests and staff were present.

    Director Kartrude recognized volunteers for their

    hours of service which totaled over12,000 hours.

    Mark Kramer recognized Mary Alice Trumble for

    eight years as editor of the Bayou Foliage, and Stan

    Krauhs for his many years of volunteering at all levels

    including president of the nature center board.

    Chair, Liz VanOrstrand made announcements. Any-

    one who has an item for the 2015 “Wish List” should

    contact her and items for the Bayou Foliage should

    be sent to Polly Swerdlin, acting editor of the news-

    letter. She also announced that the position of Vol-

    unteer Board Secretary is still unfilled. Anyone inter-

    ested in the position should contact Liz.

    Liz VanOrstrand, Volunteer Chairperson, was named

    Volunteer of the Year for her outstanding service to

    the Nature Center.

    The next volunteer meeting will be February12, 2015

    and the program will be “Frogs” presented by Marga-

    ret Frick. The program will count for Continuing Edu-


    Sam Dinsmore, retiring Secretary

    Meeting Snacks & Drinks The social portions of our meetings are enhanced with finger food

    snacks and beverages, please sign up for one month, either one:


    FEBRUARY x x

    MARCH x Polly Swerdlin

    APRIL x x

    MAY (pot lunch picnic)

    AUGUST Eleanor Stanley x


    OCTOBER x x