Message from HCA’s Board Chairman, Councillor Lloyd Ferguson, and HCA CAO, Lisa Burnside
As we all know, 2020 was one of the most unusual years on record for HCA. While our start to the year was fairly typical, the global COVID-19 pandemic brought a number of new challenges to our organization. After an initial closure, we maintained essential operations and business services, gradually reopened, and hosted a non-stop stream of visitors to our wonderful outdoor green spaces.
Despite these difficulties, we managed to accomplish initiatives in all of our strategic plan areas. Our diligent focus on the strategic priority area of Organizational Excellence paid dividends. It didn’t occur with the timing and circumstances we had planned but we did it!
We embodied our corporate values by embracing new technology, promoting teamwork and providing solution-oriented approaches, all while using our available resources responsibly. With these combined efforts, we safely and successfully adapted our operations to meet these challenges and maintained our full workforce at HCA, which was a top priority.
We all had to adjust to new working procedures, protocols, PPE and virtual meetings and communications. For some staff, this also required setting up office space at home.
Staff from every division and department played an important role: our Conservation Areas Services, Capital Projects, Watershed Planning & Engineering, Millgrove Works Yard and main office for our administration and support services.
To say that people were glad to get back to nature when we reopened is an understatement. Visitors embraced our conservation areas, beaches, trails, parks and other facilities in a way that none of our long-term staff has ever seen in their careers. In our view, a silver lining of this very stressful pandemic is that people are reconnecting with nature.