Honoree: Nina McLaughlin
Honored by: OC Parks
Cause Area: Animals & Environment
For many years Nina McLaughlin has offered enthusiasm, friendliness and valuable knowledge to OC Parks, sharing her energy and time. Nina has loved nature since she was a child and as a schoolteacher she made nature a focus in her classroom. Now retired; she brings her astute love of nature to the walks she reliably provides on weekends at O’Neill Regional Park. Nina hosts at the nature center, expertly introducing park trails, habitat, flora and fauna to first time visitors. She inspires new nature lovers with her warm smile and encourages curiosity. Last year, as an example of her creativity and the new ideas she brings to park staff if she sees a need to be met, Nina suggested a fun question box to encourage learning opportunities with our visitors. This quickly became popular and filled with intriguing questions. She generously helps new volunteers become familiar with park features at trainings we offer. Nina has great love of history, too, and Heritage Hill Historical Park is fortunate to have her volunteer as a tour leader and schoolmarm to hundreds of students annually. Nina helps at special events at these two distinctly different locations. Park visitors tell us they are happy when they return to find Nina at the park on Saturdays; they look forward to learning something new from her. We are happy Nina McLaughlin has such a strong commitment and is part of our OC Parks team.