Meet Bonnechere Valley's Ontario Senior of the Year
Heather Park-Wheeler has lived in Eganville, Ont. for just eight years, but has already planted some serious roots in the town.
Recently she was named as Bonnechere Valley's Ontario Senior of the Year for her numerous contributions to her community.
"Well, it was really a surprise," said Park-Wheeler. "There's a lot of leadership in the community, blended with a lot of people who grew up here, and it's a magical place really."
"It's quite an honour."
Park-Wheeler moved to the valley from Ottawa, after having previously lived in Toronto working as a municipal gardener.
"Oh, so many things," the 70-year-old tells CTV News when asked what she is involved with around town. "When we first moved here I got involved with the Eganville and Area Horticultural Society."
That was followed by hours given to her local church and area food bank. Her proudest achievement in town thus far, the creation of Eganville's first dog park.
"She's a very community minded person," says Judy Sauve, the past president of the Eganville and Area Horticultural Society. "She works hard to make improvements and do what she sees and needs to be done."
Sauve describes Park-Wheeler as a super organized go-getter, and says Eganville wouldn't be the same without Park-Wheeler, despite being home to other community champions like Olympian Melissa Bishop.
"It really runs a lot on volunteers, we need people like Heather," says Sauve. "You just need to tell her that people need help and she's there."
While Park-Wheeler has stepped back from a more involved role at the food bank and passed on the title of president of the horticultural society, she says she is still ready for more.
"I'm not slowing down in a way," says Park-Wheeler. "I'm more focussed on trying to do physical things."