Drew Delaney

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 Drew Delaney.

Drew DelaneyDrew Delaney, OC Parks and Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer, is in his fifth year as the volunteer director of the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park greenhouse.  Drew has inspired many volunteers to join him in the quest for growing native plants to be used to restore habitat in the park.

Drew has educated and organized the greenhouse volunteers, so that all tasks are successfully completed, from sensitive seed collection, to growing seed in flats, to bumping up the young plants into ever larger pots.  He has extensively researched the needs of native plants, so that the seeds will receive the proper stimulation at the correct time.  Drew has also experimented to find the best way to cultivate the seed, and some of the native bulbs he has produced took two to three years to generate from seed.

The greenhouse is only the beginning of Drew’s involvement in park restoration.  Over the years, he has played an important role in the park’s restoration goals, helping to decide which plants would best survive in specific locations.  Drew has assisted in helping experiment with techniques to eliminate non-native weeds from restoration areas prior to planting.  He has also been creative in finding ways to promote the survival of container plants in areas where watering is difficult.

Drew has worked with his team to enlarge the greenhouse and organize it to best support their work.  A small shade structure is now home to oak trees and other large shrubs that survive best when planted at a larger size.  Drew and his team have developed a native plant “garden” near the nursery that is not only beautiful, but also useful in producing seed that can be cultivated in the greenhouse. 

Drew’s contributions can be felt throughout the park.  He understands that each new plant added to an area formerly dominated by weeds will provide food for the park animals.  Even small creatures, such as insects, that live in these plants become part of the food chain, feeding birds, lizards and small mammals.  Each native area restored brings more animal life to the park, and Drew’s long-term commitment is definitely leaving a legacy of life at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park!

Thank you and congratulations to Drew Delaney, recipient of the 2015 Excellence in Volunteerism Award!

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