Honoree: Monica Murtaugh
Honored by: OC Parks
Cause Area: Animals & Environment
Monica Murtaugh started volunteering at Santiago Oaks Regional Park in 2015. She filled a very much-needed position at the park’s nature center. Prior to Monica the nature center was open only four hours per month. Attendance at the nature center increased dramatically and visitors were very pleased to see it open more often. Monica has been the ideal model of a volunteer. She provides a great service to the park staffing the nature center. She is friendly and professional. Monica helped develop the written opening and closing procedures for volunteers at Santiago Oaks Nature Center and is used as a guide to train new volunteers at the nature center. Monica was also instrumental in the planning and developing stages for a special community interpretive program, The Wonderful Life of a Dying Tree. Monica attended the planning meeting and had valuable input for the development of the program. She took written notes of the meeting, organized them and transcribed them into a document, and then distributed it to the meeting attendees. The day of the event Monica arrived early to help set up, greeted event attendees, assisted throughout the event, and then helped with cleanup. Monica is quick to sign up for other events at the park too. Monica is currently helping with the planning of a special program “Signs Left Behind”. In fact she came up with the title name. This program’s focus is to educate the public about the wildlife present in the parks by identifying the signs they leave behind such as scat and tracks. Even though Monica knew little on this subject she immersed herself whole heartedly into researching the subject and came up with some very great ideas for the program. Monica has been volunteering at Santiago Oaks for over one and a half years and has proven herself a very valuable volunteer. I can always depend on her for help and that is why I would like to see her time and efforts given special recognition in the 2017 Spirit of Volunteerism Awards.