Thank You, Janet Doucet!
Report by William Hunter
APRIL 4, 2019 — Nature interpreter, Daly Point Nature Reserve coordinator, Nature NB board member and just overall amazing person… Janet Doucet has made it her life’s mission to re-connect people to nature and has been a steward of our province’s environment for decades.
To quote our Executive Director, Vanessa Roy-McDougall, “Janet is one of our most passionate, committed & hardworking volunteers. Her leadership at Daly Point, knowledge of New Brunswick’s environment and ability to get things done makes her a truly amazing person and an awesome ally to have at Nature NB.”
Doucet’s love of nature began at a young age, growing up in the Miramachi River Valley. “I remember going to logging camps with my grandfather,” said Doucet. “They actually logged with horses back then, and I might have been just four years old, walking along these backwoods roads, picking berries and listening to things like Pileated Woodpeckers that he would point out.”
Doucet continues, “I was always the kid in the group that would say, let’s go to the frog pond, lets go look at the tadpoles, let’s go down by the river, and if we stand on a certain ledge and the sun is just right, we can see the salmon migrating up the river.’”
From her childhood admiring nature, Doucet’s love for the environment only grew. She worked as a tutor in the educational system, and then came across a job posting in 2011 for a coordinator position at Bathurst’s Daly Point Nature Reserve. The reserve was established in 1989, but had been struggling for some years prior to Doucet’s arrival.
Since then, Doucet has worked tirelessly to restore Daly Point and share its natural heritage to any and all interested, connecting with the community in Bathurst and organizations like Nature NB to increase awareness of the area: “It’s a great gift to the region and the community,” said Doucet. “It’s so beautiful here, and these natural resources aren’t just here for us to exploit, but also to enjoy.”
As well, through partnerships and help from fellow resident Mike Haywood, Doucet was pivotal in starting Bathurst’s NatureKids Club, helping to plan exciting and educational activities like camping, hiking and canoeing at Daly Point and throughout the Bathurst community.
Doucet also joined Nature NB’s Board of Directors in 2017 and reflects on the wonderful relationship that has developed between Nature NB and Daly Point over the years: “One of our proudest achievements is our partnership with Nature NB,” said Doucet. “When you have an interest in common, it goes hand in glove. Being on the board of Nature NB and sitting at a table with all these people coming from different walks in life, we have that commonality. We are all passionate about nature and what Nature NB does.”
Doucet also encourages New Brunswickers to spend more time outdoors and recommends that we should reach out to our local nature clubs and programs. She insists that we can all play a part in the conservation and protection of our natural heritage and also encourages all residents of our province, especially in Bathurst, to visit Daly Point and even get involved as a volunteer.
“Find yourself a partner and don’t get too discouraged, because it’s easy to do that,” said Doucet. “At Daly Point, we’re an all inclusive organization so anybody who walks in and wants to volunteer can come in and do so. I’ll find something that they are looking for.”
Nature NB would like to recognize Janet Doucet as April’s nature hero of the month for her inspirational work to connect people to nature and protect New Brunswick’s wilderness over many years. Thank you for all you do, Janet, and we cannot wait to see what else Daly Point, NatureKids Bathurst and your many other initiatives bring to the future!
If you’re looking to follow Janet’s lead and connect with nature in your community, sign up for Nature NB’s e-news to hear about upcoming events to discover nature near you, or contact your local Nature Club or NatureKids Club to join a group of like-minded nature enthusiasts!