A Chilliwack man has been recognized for his commitment to the environment, through Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC).
For more than three decades, Henry Kozler has been helping conserve wetlands to protect the region’s water, wildlife and future. For his efforts, Kozler has been named as its volunteer of the year for the province.
“It came as a little bit of a shock,” says Kozler, who is also one of 30 Canadians—and just four British Columbians—who was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for their service with DUC.
“I have always enjoyed my time with Ducks and especially liked being able to pass on what I’ve learned to the next generation of families, my own included. I really believe in the program.”
A 34-year volunteer with DUC, Kozler is a steady presence within the local Chilliwack chapter and a mentor to the community when it comes to conservation. He spent 15 years on DUC’s Provincial Council representing the Fraser Valley zone and was the Chilliwack banquet chair for 30-plus years.
Ducks Unlimited calls him “a living embodiment of the DUC brand.”
Kozler is the second member of his family to be named DUC’s Volunteer of the Year for B.C. He joins his daughter, Denise Zanatta, who won the award in 2018.
“For me, Ducks Unlimited is about family, a way to bring people together,” says Kozler.
Paul Visentin, DUC’s manager of volunteer fundraising for the Kootenay region, says Kozler’s commitment stands out above almost everyone he has met during his time with the organization.
“He has seen everything that DUC has to offer and done just about every volunteer task available from events, council, education, and as a general ambassador to DUC in the Fraser Valley,” says Visentin. “His family is involved in DUC and have been since a young age. His daughter is now the chair of the Chilliwack dinner event. Also, his grandsons, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews all participate in events in the Fraser Valley and make DUC better because of it. His ambition and desire make DUC the best organization possible, and it is an honour to have him as Volunteer of the Year.”