January 2024 Volunteer of the Month

January 08, 2024

Meet our esteemed first 2024 Volunteer of the Month, Don Allard, a dedicated and passionate individual whose commitment to the Pine Bush community has left an indelible mark.

By Beth MacCallum, Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator

Don, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and raised in Northern Virginia and overseas, has called Colonie home for the past 36 years. His journey with the Friends of the Pine Bush Community began in 2008, and since then, he has been an integral part of our organization.

Don's professional background in the printing industry speaks to his dedication to precision and detail, qualities that have undoubtedly contributed to his outstanding volunteer efforts. Now retired, Don spends his free time indulging in various activities. Alongside his wife, Carolyn, he cherishes moments with their three daughters and six grandchildren, splitting their time between Colonie and Colorado.  In addition to volunteering, Don finds joy walking his dog, Buddy, exploring the Capital District's bike trails, and occasionally experimenting with watercolor painting.

For Don, the best part of volunteering at the Albany Pine Bush lies in the people he has encountered through the Friends of the Pine Bush Community. Whether it's participating in hikes, trail/road cleanups, or Food Bank service events, Don values the strong sense of community fostered by the organization. He believes in the power of connecting with others and engaging in activities that benefit the community, and the Friends provide the perfect avenue for that.

One of Don's cherished memories involves the spring peepers near the vernal ponds on the yellow trail. Living just minutes away from the Preserve, he would unwind after work with walks through the trails, captivated by the deafening chorus of the springtime phenomenon. These moments encapsulate the beauty and tranquility that the Pine Bush offers.  Don's favorite Pine Bush plant is the Pitch Pine, and when asked about his favorite part of the Pine Bush, he faces a tough choice but ultimately settles on the trails near the Willow Street kiosk.

In honoring Don Allard as the January 2024 Volunteer of the Month, Communications Director, Wendy Craney says, “We are very grateful for Don’s leadership on the Board of the Friends of the Pine Bush Community these many years.  The Commission staff extend our deepest gratitude for his unwavering dedication, positive spirit, and the countless hours he has devoted to the well-being of the Pine Bush community. Don truly exemplifies the essence of community service.”

Return to list.