An ancient Chinese proverb, often credited to Confucius, states “Choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” For CBEC volunteer Rudolph “Rudy” Lukacovic, this seems to have happened twice. After almost40 years’ working in the Fisheries Division of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Rudy has found as second career as a volunteer for the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center in Grasonville, Maryland.
Although he’d visited CBEC several times before retirement, he read an article about CBEC’s LIFE (Legacy Institute for the Environment) adult education program in 2016 and signed up.Now, he teaches several units of the LIFE Program (fish anatomy and fish sampling). Then, hemet and became friends with Dave and Anne Brunson, CBEC’s Volunteer Coordinators, at CBEC’s Masters’ Naturalist course and, not long after that, he was on board.
“Ranger Rudy”, as he’s been nicknamed by a young visitor, is now a vital member of the CBEC volunteer community. “He’s a real gem,” stated the Brunson’s. “With his knowledge and experience, especially with oysters and fish, he’s become an invaluable instructor in several of our youth education programs.”Two of CBEC’s most popular programs are ‘Catch-a-Bay-Critter’ and ‘Remarkable Oyster’, which are both led by Lukacovic. CBEC’s focus on “Hands on, Feet wet” environmental education was a natural fit for him, since he’d spent most his career with DNR working in the field.
Besides being an important contributor to CBEC’s environmental education programs, Rudy can be seen volunteering his time helping to maintain CBEC’s extensive nature trails, osprey nesting platforms, as well as blue bird and wood duck nesting boxes. “I really like being outdoors, observing nature,” stated Lukacovic. “I frequently come across foxes and other wildlife on the property. I’ve even seen beavers and otters. The woodlands, marshes, and meadows on CBEC’s Horse Head peninsula are a great place to enjoy the natural beauty of the Chesapeake Bay.”
“Teacher, naturalist, and friendly ambassador at CBEC, Rudy Lukacovic exemplifies what our member volunteers do for the organization every day,”said Executive Director, Vicki Paulas. “He has helped us expand our environmental education program offerings as well as provide invaluable support in so many other ways.”
CBEC is a non-profit environmental organization whose stated mission is “creating healthier communities by connecting people to nature through adventure-based learning that contributes to the conservation of the Chesapeake Bay.” Only a few minutes off Rt. 50 at 600 Discovery Lane in Grasonville, MD, CBEC is a convenient, easily accessible spot to visit. Stop by or contact them at bayrestoration.org.