Blackwater NWR Holds Volunteer Awards Dinner
On Thursday, April 18, 2013, Refuge volunteers and staff gathered to celebrate and recognize the many accomplishments that volunteers made to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge during 2012. Volunteers at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge assist in all aspects of Refuge management, from staffing the Visitor Center seven days a week, assisting with special events, and leading environmental education programs, to more behind the scenes work monitoring water quality, maintaining and monitoring nest boxes, and maintaining webcams and websites. During 2012, 153 volunteers donated 10,273 hours to the refuge. That's the equivalent of five (5) full time staff!
Every year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service honors and distinguishes a volunteer for their exemplary performance throughout the year. This year, Janet Shields received the 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award for her dedicated service to Blackwater NWR. Janet began volunteering at Blackwater NWR in 2010, working in the butterfly garden on Tuesday mornings. In 2011 she began working in the Visitor Center, and today, typically staffs the Visitor Center twice a week. Janet's very willing to share her knowledge of local area bird life to visitors, and often pulls out a field guide or photo to help visitors identify the birds they have seen on the refuge. In 2012, Janet also volunteered to take on the duties of Membership Chair for the Friends of Blackwater. Keeping track of roughly 560 members takes an immense amount of time and commitment. Janet contributed 433 hours to the refuge in 2012 alone, and has accumulated a total of 611 hours since she began volunteering in 2010. Janet has been a tremendous asset to the volunteer corps at Blackwater NWR. Thank you Janet!
See the volunteer newsletter (993K PDF file) for more information on the volunteer awards for 2012. And thanks to all those wonderful individuals who did so much in 2012 to make Blackwater NWR a great Refuge!