Edmonds volunteer extraordinaire Laura Spehar graciously accepted her award Thursday as the 2011 Citizen of the Year, an annual recognition sponsored by the Edmonds Kiwanis Club. But the woman who is known around town for her work with at least 25 different organizations immediately turned the spotlight elsewhere. “I’m honored,” Spehar said during the presentation made during an Edmonds Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “I believe as a person that volunteers for this town…non-stop, that the Chamber is pretty much the glue that holds this city together… putting on events, bringing tourism into this town, all your efforts, all the resources. I appreciate it and it makes it a quality-of-life city to live in. Thank you, and thanks for that free lunch.”
And for those of you who are wondering about Spehar’s credentials, take a deep breath before you dive into this list of her volunteer work:
A certified WSU Master Gardener, Beach Watcher and Shore Steward, a Certified Washington Native Plant Society Steward & Growing Wild Consultant, a Certified National Wildlife Federation Habitat Steward & Host, a Certified WSU Rain Garden Consultant, a Certified Frog Watch U.S.A Trainer through the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, an Edmonds Seal Sitter volunteer, a City of Edmonds Beach Naturalist, and a Puget Sound Birdfest board member. Spehar also serves on the Edmonds Mayor’s Climate Protection Committee, and is on the board of the Just Frogs, Toads Too Foundation, Puget Sound Birdfest, Friends of the Edmonds Marsh, the Willow Creek Hatchery Wildlife Habitat & Native Plant Demonstration Garden and Friends of the Edmonds Library.
In February 2010, the National Wildlife Federation presented Spehar with its Conservation Service Award.