Denver, Colorado – On Saturday, November 4, 2017, six individuals and two organizations were recognized for their achievements in outdoor stewardship by Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC), a nonprofit dedicated to motivating and enabling people to become active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources.
The awards signaled the end of VOC’s volunteer season, in which more than 5,000 Coloradans participated in nearly 100 stewardship projects on public lands. “Each recipient has made an outstanding contribution to caring for Colorado,” explained Dean Winstanley, Director of Statewide Stewardship for VOC, “With growing challenges from overuse and limited funds, the outdoors need dedicated citizens and organizations like them at the forefront of stewardship efforts.”
This year’s awards include:
•Land Manager of the Year: Awarded to Fletcher Jacobs, Volunteer Coordinator with Colorado Parks & Wildlife, for outstanding collaboration, support and continued dedication to outdoor stewardship;
•Partner Organization of the Year: Awarded to Yampatika, a Steamboat Springs-based environmental education nonprofit, for outstanding collaboration on VOC’s Dry Lake Trail Construction and Family Camping project;
•Young Volunteer of the Year: Awarded to 12-year-old Mirabai Herz for demonstrating outstanding dedication to outdoor stewardship with 6 projects completed this year and a goal of becoming VOC’s youngest certified Crew Leader;
•Cairn Mentor of the Year: Awarded to Tamara Atkin for exemplary leadership in VOC’s award-winning high school Cairn Youth Program;
•Unsung Hero: Awarded to Nicole Dickson for providing outstanding support as an office volunteer, reconciling more than 30 years of volunteer database records;
•Roni Sherb New Volunteer of the Year: Awarded to Ryan Durham for outstanding dedication to outdoor stewardship in his first years of volunteering, with more than 25 projects completed;
•Curt Chitwood Volunteer of the Year: Awarded to Terry Gimbel for outstanding volunteer leadership and continued dedication to stewardship since 1987;
•Steve Austin Mentor of the Year: Awarded to Mike Mattice for exemplary leadership in teaching stewardship practices to new volunteer leaders; and
•Special Recognition: Awarded to Tom Ledgerwood for more than 30 years of volunteer stewardship.
As Colorado’s population continues to grow, many more Coloradans will be asked to step up to support outdoor stewardship efforts. To learn more about Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) and how to get involved, visit www.voc.org.
About Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC)
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is a statewide nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to motivating and enabling people to become active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources. Since 1984, VOC’s award-winning volunteer, youth, and leadership training programs have engaged nearly 115,000 people of all ages in caring for Colorado’s outdoors – a total donated labor value of $23 million. Such volunteer efforts have made a lasting impact on Colorado through hands-on work in fire and flood restoration, trail building and maintenance, tree planting and re-forestation, and more. For additional information, visit www.voc.org or call 303-715-1010.