On Saturday, October 27, 2018, five individuals and two organizations were recognized for their achievements in caring for the outdoors 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 nearly 5,000 Coloradans participated in close to 100 stewardship projects on public lands. The projects took place across the state in well-known locations such as Mount Elbert and Genesee Park, and included trail construction and maintenance, ecological restoration, and invasive species management.
“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 Beau Clark, Trails Volunteer Program Lead with Boulder County Open Space & Mountain Parks, for outstanding collaboration, support and continued dedication to outdoor stewardship;
Partner Organization of the Year: Awarded to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, a national nonprofit that promotes and protects the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, for outstanding collaboration on VOC’s “Independent Stewardship for Trails” training;
Youth Volunteer of the Year: Awarded to high school senior David Sispera for demonstrating outstanding dedication to outdoor stewardship as a long-time participant in VOC’s Cairn Youth Program, contributing over 150 volunteer hours;
Unsung Hero: Awarded to Traci Case for providing outstanding support in her 16 years of volunteering with a positive, can-do attitude;
Roni Sherb New Volunteer of the Year: Awarded to Sean Mallory for outstanding dedication to outdoor stewardship in his two years of volunteering, with more than 30 projects completed;
Curt Chitwood Volunteer of the Year: Awarded to Nancy Clark for outstanding volunteer leadership and continued dedication to stewardship since 2004; and
Steve Austin Mentor of the Year: Awarded to Erin King for exemplary leadership in teaching stewardship practices to new volunteer leaders.
As Colorado’s population continues to grow, many more Coloradans will be asked to step up to support outdoor stewardship efforts. Click here to view more photos from the event and visit www.voc.org/get-involved to learn more about how to care for the outdoors with VOC.