Joan Miller

Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winner

OC Community Resources/OC Parks
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Laguna Canyon Foundation

Pictured from left to right - Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Resource Specialist Laura Cohen and Excellence in Volunteerism Honoree Joan Miller.

Joan MillerJoan Miller, OC Parks and Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer, has been indispensable and dedicated in her assistance with several large and important restoration projects at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.

Joan has taken the lead in organizing eight years of park restoration information, including the development of both aerial maps and project lists. She has learned to navigate the OC Restore program and website, a system developed by Nature Reserve of Orange County for parks and wild lands included in the Natural Community Conservation Plan and Habitat Conservation Plan. Once familiar with the website, she entered park restoration information, which will help inform current and future decisions about park management. The information can also be accessed by others utilizing the OC Restore system.

Joan has been active in assisting with current restoration projects such as collecting and preparing data; planning and helping to execute restoration plans; overseeing community groups and interns working in the park; recruiting volunteers and carrying out long-term maintenance of Camarillo Canyon, one of the larger park restoration sites. In addition, Joan assumed a leadership role in coaching Saddleback College students who worked on the restoration site.

Joan has dedicated time to researching restoration techniques relevant to the park’s restoration goals and is creative in the way she approaches problems and solutions. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park has been invaded by several aggressive non-native plant species. When staff members were alerted to the presence of a large outbreak of Sahara mustard, the plant that has destroyed wildflower blooms in the desert, Joan took time to help in the eradication efforts and continued her involvement throughout the project, working for days on ridgetops in the hot sun until all of the mustard had been removed. She even enlisted the help of family members in order to get the job done.

Joan’s work has made long-term organization of park restoration data possible. Her dedication in the field has inspired others to get involved and she has helped educate the next generation of restoration specialists in both native and non-native plant identification. Her commitment is helping to preserve, protect and enhance Laguna Coast Wilderness Park for today’s visitors and those of the future.

Thank you and congratulations to Joan Miller, recipient of the 2015 Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winner!

Click here to find out how you can volunteer with OC Parks.