BY PAUL HERRIDGE
The Southern Gazette
It was instilled in him, he recalled, from an early age, quite likely while planting trees or interacting with nature as a member of the Cubs or other youth organization.
In recent months, these interests have lead him to form and chair a Marystown-based chapter of Ducks Unlimited Canada, with a group of other like-minded people from the area, that he said will represent the entire Burin Peninsula.
Mr. Brushett indicated starting the chapter has been something that has been in his mind for the past three years, but the timing wasn’t right until now. Nor did he think he could find the right mixture of individuals.
“This year I had more volunteer time on my hands, plus I had certain people in place that wanted to get involved in something and thought that this was a good idea.
“The quality of the organization was what I think attracted them to it as well.”
Mr. Brushett found evidence of another attempt to bring Ducks Unlimited to the region 10 or 12 years ago.
“When I went through the registration for the chapter, Grand Bank showed up as a location that there was actually a charter number listed, but it never, ever became active.”
Mr. Brushett acknowledged many people have misconceptions about Ducks Unlimited being “all about ducks and hunting, and protecting ducks for hunting.”
He said that’s not the case. In fact, he noted a significant portion of the organization’s volunteers don’t hunt at all.
Among the local nine-member committee, only Mr. Brushett and one other individual hunt regularly.
He suggested members who aren’t hunters get involved because they are interested in their community, conservation and preserving green space.
Mr. Brushett recognized development is encroaching upon areas in communities where people can “get out and enjoy nature” more and more all the time.
“I do think we have to do our stewardship role in preserving some of that.
“I think that’s important in every community, and I think what Ducks promotes, both to the public and also to government, speaks volumes in that direction, and that’s why I wanted to get involved.”
Ducks Unlimited is active with projects in every province and territory across Canada.
A big dinner and auction event is scheduled at St. Gabriel’s Hall in Marystown this Saturday night with plenty of great items up for bidding.
Mr. Brushett claimed the support from the region has been tremendous.
“I’m very, very pleased to see the amount of response we’ve got from businesses and the public towards this event with very limited advertising so far.
“A lot of people have jumped on board to say ‘Yeah, I want to be a part of that.’ There hasn’t been any issue with sponsors and donations. A lot of businesses on the Burin Peninsula have stepped up to the plate, which is very positive.”
He hinted it’s likely the process to host a ‘Project Webfoot’ initiative, Ducks Unlimited’s school program, will be set in motion during the dinner.
Mr. Brushett said the Town of Marystown has also agreed to sign a ‘Year of the Conservation Champion’ proclamation this week, and
seems eager to get involved in a project in the future.
“I’d say in 2013, not only will we have, I’m hoping, the largest dinner and auction that’s been launched in Newfoundland and Labrador, but we’ll also hopefully have a conservation project that will come out in this region.”