Good Neighbor Awards

Sacramento’s “First Lady of Waterfowl” Awarded Good Neighbor Award

Judy working from a boat to clean trash and debris out of McKinley Pond.
Written by Danielle Styskal

Each month, Nextdoor is honoring the good neighbors who are making a difference in their neighborhoods every day with our Good Neighbor Award. Each winner is nominated by their neighbors and will receive a gift card from Nextdoor in recognition of the positive impact they have made in their community.

To nominate a good neighbor in your community, click here.


According to several of her neighbors, every city should be so lucky as to have their own “First Lady of Waterfowl,” as Judy McClaver is fondly referred to in Sacramento.

Sacramento’s Good Neighbor Award winner, Judy McClaver.

Sacramento’s Good Neighbor Award winner, Judy McClaver.

Since late 2012, Judy has been fervently volunteering her time to improve the local pond and its surroundings in Sacramento’s McKinley Park. Judy first noticed that the pond was becoming contaminated and dangerous, and turned to the local City Council to have the water tested.

She now walks the park each day to clean up fallen tree branches that park patrons sometimes throw into the pond, causing injury to the pond’s wildlife. She removed bamboo from the pond’s island that was killing the waterfowl and attracting rats – and was ultimately causing odor and adding leaf debris to the pond. Then, she put in new plants.

Judy working from a boat to clean trash and debris out of McKinley Pond.

Judy working from a boat to clean trash and debris out of McKinley Pond.

Uneducated park visitors often feed the waterfowl, causing malnutrition and deformities, so Judy worked with the local Parks Department to implement and post a waterfowl feeding policy that educates others on why bread and human food is harmful.

Judy educating visitors to the pond about ducks and geese and proper feeding to avoid malnutrition and wing and beak deformities.

Judy educating visitors to the pond about ducks and geese and proper feeding to avoid malnutrition and wing and beak deformities.

And, when a family of wild ducks from the pond ends up in a storm drain or backyard swimming pool, Judy is the first person her neighbors turn to for help – she’s an expert in trapping and relocating the waterfowl to a new, safe habitat.

Judy’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by her grateful neighbors. According to one, “She volunteers to help clean up our local park, assists in wildlife rescue, and is an all-around great neighbor to have. We’re so lucky to have her living here.”

Says another, “Judy is a treasure.”

Judy is willing to do the work to maintain the beauty of a prized local park – all out of the goodness of her heart. Congratulations on being named Sacramento’s Nextdoor Good Neighbor Award Winner!


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1 Comment

  • This is awesome! Thank you for your hard work and dedication to waterfowl and the environment, Judy! Congratulations on the well deserved recognition.

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