Liz Scherer is one of those incredible Big Canoe contributors whose fingerprints are all over the community. She is best known as the chair of the Big Canoe Trails Committee, which means if you are a hiker, there’s a good chance you’ve run into her and the trails crew with chainsaws and shovels in hand.
That’s not even the half of it as Liz has established herself as a willing volunteer for numerous projects. She is also the local go-to website manager/designer for the likes of Smoke Signals, the Wellness Collaborative, Tom’s Awesome Seafood, Volunteer Big Canoe and the Wildflower Bunch and several other businesses.
Appropriately enough, she is this year’s recipient of the President’s Award, which the POA Board presents annually to recognize the top volunteer in Big Canoe.
Liz and husband Jonathan Foulkes have lived in Big Canoe since 1998. She put down the tools long enough to talk how she came to Big Canoe, her numerous passions, and how she came started contributing to the community.
Q: What does it mean to you to win the President Award?
A: It’s an honor. Also humbling because it comes from a community with such strong volunteerism, with so many people putting in so much of their time for the benefit of others.
Q: A lot of people know you for your work with the Trails Committee, while another segment is familiar with you as a web designer/tech type. You’re noted for contributing to the community in many different ways. How did you develop this commitment to public service?
A: I like working on projects I’m into. I like learning new skills. I also like to know how things work and how Big Canoe operates. Where I have some skill that could be useful, I love helping out. With the shortage of staff and all the new people in Big Canoe, I like being able to alleviate any backlog.
Q: Do you think that doing something that takes you into nature is a counterweight to spending so much time working in front of devices?
A: For sure. Being out there doing stuff on trails or playing tennis – you don’t think about anything else. You get a mental break.
Q: The Trails Committee is one of the most successful volunteer organizations in the community. Can you explain its popularity?
A: People come here and love the trails. Then, they help maintain and build more of them, which draws trail-loving people to Big Canoe. It’s a self-reinforcing, positive feedback loop. So as a consequence, those in charge of maintaining this very popular amenity will be popular.
Q: You wear a lot of hats. How do you identify yourself?
A: It changes, depending on the hat I’m wearing. I know I am versatile. I am a generalist and one of those people who generally can do all sorts of things. I like doing new things, like when someone shows up with a new tool. I want to learn how to use it and develop that skill. I do a lot of things: sew, make jewelry, metalsmithing. I am veterinarian by trade.
Q: Where are you from originally?
A: I was born in Costa Rica to French parents.
Q: How many languages do you speak?
English, French and Spanish. And a few tech languages.
Q: How did you end up in Big Canoe?
A: I was complaining about how much time it took to mow the one-acre lawn I had in Alpharetta and wished there was a place where lawns were prohibited. This was 1994. We heard about Big Canoe. We came, we saw, we bought. In 1998, we sold our house and rented a condo as we built our home here. We moved to our new house in 2000.
Q: Describe a perfect day for you in Big Canoe. Does it involve sawdust, mud or lifting anything heavy?
A: It does! The perfect day for me is going out to work on the trails with my teammates. Always something new to learn, a cool tool to use, or a skill to apply or develop. And above all, the camaraderie.
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