Governor Markell honors DNREC’s Outstanding Volunteers

HARRINGTON (July 27, 2012) – Yesterday at the Delaware State Fair, Governor Jack Markell, DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara and U.S. EPA Region III Administrator Shawn M. Garvin honored some of DNREC’s outstanding volunteers.

Awards were presented in six volunteer categories:

  • DNREC’s Outstanding VolunteersYouth – Daisy Troop 115 of Rehoboth Beach
    Leader Jennifer Parsons, and scouts Victoria Parsons, Hailey Marslett, Eve Sekscinski, Emma Thompson, Grace Mills, Noa Aboutboul and Kayla Reid were recognized for their outstanding volunteer work in removing invasive species from Cape Henlopen State Park. They were so dedicated to their mission, after spending hours pulling out non-native and invasive garlic mustard, they wanted to do more. They also had keen eyes, finding patches of garlic mustard missed by trained eyes.

  • Group (Tie) – Delaware Mobile Surf Fishermen and the Delaware Equine CouncilThe Delaware Mobile Surf Fishermen have volunteered their time, services and refreshments to the Division of  Watershed Stewardship’s Annual Beach Grass Planting for more than 15 years. They bring four-wheel-drive vehicles to transport volunteers to areas where beach grass is needed that are far from beach access points. They also bring their “cook shack” to provide hotdogs and beverages to volunteers after they have put in hours of hard work.

    DNREC’s Outstanding Volunteers 2Nominated by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, volunteers from the Delaware Equine Council participate in a variety of DNREC projects and activities, including trail maintenance at the Nanticoke Wildlife Area, Park Watch at Trap Pond State Park, Healthy Kids Day at Trap Pond State Park, the DNREC Greenways and Trails Council, and the Delaware State Parks trails program. These dedicated volunteers are strong advocates for trail safety and volunteering.

  • Research – Horseshoe Crab Survey Site Leaders Sara Anderson, Katie Bartling, Chase Colmorgen, June Rose Futcher, Jim Hewes, Breanne Preisen and Josh Turner.
    These team leaders are a key part of the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve’s annual horseshoe crab survey. They are experienced in survey protocol and take on the additional responsibility of overseeing other volunteers for this important research survey.

  • Conservation/ Restoration – Carl Updike
    Nominated by the DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation, Carl Updike maintains a purple martin nesting sanctuary at Delaware Seashore State Park, donating his time to set up nesting gourds for martins and tree swallows. He is determined to develop a larger nesting area and establish the purple martin population in this area.

  • DNREC’s Outstanding Volunteers 3Environmental Education – Greg Hughes
    The Division of Parks and Recreation honored Fort Delaware State Park volunteer Greg Hughes, who is developing displays and programming to present to the public at Fort Delaware to educate them about the effects of white nose syndrome on bat populations.

  • Business Partner – Timberland Outlets
    Describing them as “the workhorse of volunteer groups,” the Division of Parks and Recreation honored the staff of Timberland Outlets for their continuing commitment to volunteering at Cape Henlopen and Delaware Seashore State Parks. “Timberland’s volunteers are always self-motivated, always ready to work, and never complain no matter how arduous the task or difficult the situation. Best of all, they love what they are doing for the park and the environment,” the nomination noted.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control sponsors a wide range of  volunteer opportunities year-round. DNREC volunteers of all ages adopt wetlands, count horseshoe crabs, remove invasive plants, plant beach grass, check water quality, clean up beaches, monitor wildlife species, teach boating safety classes, maintain park trails, host a campground, give history tours in period costume and more. To learn about how you or your group can volunteer, visit DNREC’s “Get Involved!” website at and browse the volunteer calendar, or search by topics or categories – environmental conservation, research & monitoring, education & outreach, recreation, office & administration and internships.