Blackwater NWR Holds Volunteer Awards Dinner
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service celebrated the outstanding contributions made by volunteers to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge during its annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner on April 19th, 2012. The Friends of Blackwater sponsored the awards dinner at the Cambridge Moose Lodge.
During 2011, 158 volunteers donated 11,806 hours of their time to the Refuge, equivalent to nearly six full time staff! Volunteer efforts at Blackwater NWR are varied, and range from enhancing the visitor experience, to biological monitoring, trail maintenance and much more. Many volunteers help staff the Visitor Center and serve as the face of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge to our visitors. Many others volunteer behind the scenes, monitoring water quality or nest boxes, maintaining our website or entering data, to name just a few.
Following this year's awards dinner, Mary Lynch was presented with the 2011 Volunteer of the Year Award for her service to Blackwater NWR. Mary has staffed the Visitor Center for the past six years, greeting visitors with a cheerful smile, answering questions accurately, handling the cash register with expertise, and stepping in to help during times of need. She often volunteered in the Visitor Center once a week or more, helping most often on weekends when volunteer assistance is often in short supply. Mary also helps with special events on the Refuge, including the Eagle Festival and Youth Fishing Derby, and assists with outreach at offsite events. Mary has donated over 800 hours to Blackwater NWR, giving 178 hours in this year alone. In recognition of her service during 2011, Mary received a framed photo of refuge wildlife by Mary Konchar. Congratulations Mary!
See the volunteer newsletter (895K PDF file) for more information on the volunteer awards for 2011. And thanks to all those wonderful individuals who did so much in 2011 to make Blackwater NWR a great Refuge!