Distinguished Volunteer Service Awards

Volunteers are vital to the efforts of Three Rivers Park District. Last year, Three Rivers had more than 780 ongoing volunteers who donated close to 37,500 hours to programs and services within the park system. In recognition of these outstanding contributions, the Park District recognizes a select group of volunteers each year through the Distinguished Volunteer Service Award program.  

Volunteers benefit the Park District in many ways, including assisting with nature and recreation-based programming, patrolling slopes and trails, surveying wildlife, assisting with special events and races, habitat restoration, collecting prairie seeds and more.

“The Distinguished Volunteer Service Award program is a way to acknowledge outstanding representatives of our dedicated park volunteers,” says Deb Vosler, volunteer coordinator for Three Rivers Park District. “Without our volunteers, we simply would not be able to deliver the number of high-quality programs and services to the public that we do.”

In addition to a Board of Commissioner’s ceremony, recipients of the Distinguished Volunteer Service Award are recognized on plaques at facilities around the Park District and at a dinner with the Chair of the Board and Superintendent.

2018 Distinguished Volunteers

The 2018 Distinguished Volunteer Service Award recipients have contributed a combined total of 6,086 hours of volunteer service to the Park District; 748 of those hours occurred in 2017. 

the six distinguished volunteer recipients for 2018
From left to right: Wrick Dunning, Jonah Hamberger, Patty Kowal, Nettie Andrews, Eli Hamberger, Kevin McKinney

2018 recipients:

Nettie Andrews: Program Assistant, Richardson Nature Center

Wrick Dunning: Ski Patroller, Patrol Instructor, Park Patroller, Program Assistant, Hyland Lake and Elm Creek Park Reserves

Eli Hamberger: Youth Volunteer-Program Assistant, Gale Woods Farm

Jonah Hamberger: Youth Volunteer-Program Assistant, Gale Woods Farm

Patty Kowal: Program Assistant, Eastman Nature Center

Kevin McKinney: Natural Resources Surveyor and Project Assistant, Park Patroller, Program Assistant, Crow-Hassan, Elm Creek and Lake Rebecca Park Reserves

The award recipients will be honored by the Park District Board of Commissioners with a ceremony at 4:30 PM on Thursday, April 19, at the Park District’s Administrative Center in Plymouth. 

2017 Distinguished Volunteers

The 2017 Distinguished Volunteer Service Award recipients contributed a combined total of 5,573 hours of volunteer service to the Park District; 419 of those hours occurred in 2016.

distinguished volunteers 2017
Pictured Left to Right: Paul Larson, Cynthia Darby, Hannah Wachtler, Linda McDermott. Not Pictured: Dan Fortin and Kale’a Pawlak-Kjolhaug.

2017 recipients:

Cynthia Darby: Program Assistant, Natural Resources Monitor, Richardson Nature Center

Dan Fortin: Program and Project Assistant, Eastman Nature Center, Kroening Interpretive Center

Paul Larson: Alpine Ski Patroller, Patrol Program Instructor and Park Patroller, Hyland Lake and Elm Creek Park Reserves, Regional Trails

Linda McDermott: Park Patroller, Crow-Hassan, Elm Creek, and Baker Park Reserves, French Regional Park, Events

Kale’a Pawlak-Kjolhaug: Youth Volunteer-Program Assistant, Natural Resources Monitor and Surveyor, Animal Care Assistant, Lowry Nature Center

Hannah Wachtler: Youth Volunteer-Program Assistant, Natural Resources Project Assistant, Eastman Nature Center, Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

2016 Distinguished Volunteers

The 2016 Distinguished Volunteer Service Award recipients contributed a combined total 7,185 hours of volunteer service to the Park District; 850 of those hours occurred in 2015.

2016 Distinguished Volunteers

2016 recipients:

Rita Baden, Prior Lake:
Park Patroller, Program Assistant and Program Instructor at Cleary Lake Regional Park, Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve, Regional Trails and Richardson Nature Center

Judy Brusseau, Minnetonka:
Program and Project Assistant at Richardson Nature Center

Kim Burke Phillipp, Brooklyn Center:
Program Assistant, Animal Care Assistant, Natural Resources Monitor at Kroening Interpretive Center and Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park

Marshall Erickson, Spring Park:
Program Assistant at Lowry Nature Center and Grimm Farm Historic Site

Luke Schaffhausen, Champlin:
Youth Volunteer - Program and Animal Care Assistant at Eastman Nature Center

Vicki Zierden, Bloomington:
Alpine Ski Patroller, Patrol Program Instructor and Park Patroller at Hyland Lake and Elm Creek Park Reserves and Regional Trails

Volunteering

Volunteers are vital to the efforts of Three Rivers Park District. Volunteers benefit the Park District in many ways including assisting with nature and recreation-based programming, patrolling slopes and trails, surveying wildlife, assisting with special events and races, habitat restoration, collecting prairie seeds and more.