The dedication and efforts shown by the chair of the Airdrie committee for Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) have earned him the organization’s Alberta-based volunteer of the year award.
While he lives in Calgary, Quinn Beck spends a decent amount of time in Airdrie as the chair of the local DUC committee. In honour of National Volunteer Week from April 18 to 24, DUC named Beck as its volunteer of the year for Alberta.
Beck said he was surprised but appreciative when he checked his email inbox one day in mid-April and learned he had been selected for the honour.
“It was definitely not expected, but I appreciate the attention,” he said. “When you volunteer, you don't expect recognition, or you don't expect awards – it's a good feeling you get when you do things you care about. But when you get recognition in this way, it makes you feel good, like you're doing something right.”
Ducks Unlimited is a North America-wide organization, with branches in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The organization is focused on wildlife habitat preservation and conservation, with a focus on wetlands.
As the chair of Airdrie’s DUC committee, Beck raises awareness and funds for the organization. He said this is mostly done through an annual banquet the committee puts on that includes silent and live auctions and a raffle.
For Beck, involvement with DUC is a family affair. Having grown up in Swift Current, Sask., he said he recalls attending DUC events as a young child with his parents and brothers. Now 55 years old, he said he and his two brothers are still actively involved in fundraising for DUC.
“It's been on and off throughout the years...but it's been a long time we've been involved,” he said.
He added the importance of environmental preservation is what motivates him to stay involved with DUC.
“It benefits everyone, ultimately,” he said. “Wetland conservation, natural area conservation, grassland conservation – any of that benefits us all, not just wildlife. That's why I do it.”
Outside of his involvement with DUC, Beck’s passion for the environment is also reflected in his career. He is the founder and president of Calgary-based Earth Distributors, a company that supplies businesses with plant-based, biodegradable and compostable food packaging.
He added a portion of each sale his company makes goes toward a program called Back To Earth, which supports environmental organizations, including DUC.
“The whole purpose of my company is to help other companies, people and businesses reduce their environmental footprint through our plant-based products, but also to leave a green legacy to our Back to Earth program,” he said.
With a lifetime of passion for environmental conservation, Beck said he encourages others to get involved with DUC. He noted the organization is reputable and has a proud, decades-long track record of supporting an important cause.
“Everyone has got their cause,” he said. “Some things, people value or love more than others, but if you’re looking for a cause you can get behind that does a lot of great work – an environmental cause that really puts a lot of their resources directly into habitat conservation and the science behind it all – [DUC] is one of the best ones you can join.”