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Governor Markell, Secretary Small honor wide-ranging spectrum of DNREC Volunteers of the Year at State Fair

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control | Former Governor Jack Markell (2009-2017) | Date Posted: Thursday, July 28, 2016


DNREC Logo

HARRINGTON – Today at the Delaware State Fair, Governor Jack Markell and DNREC Secretary David Small honored the Department’s 2016 Volunteers of the Year – a roll call for magnanimous activity on DNREC’s behalf that saw awards presented in 11 volunteer categories.

Jeff Jones
Governor Markell with Jeff Jones, accepting the award on behalf of his son `Eric Jones

Youth – Eric Jones
For his Eagle Scout project last year, Eric Jones, 17, of Magnolia, worked 100 hours with First State Heritage Park to build an 18th century-style pull cart to carry lanterns to set up at the various locations on the park’s popular lantern tours. The four-wheeled wooden cart is both functional and historically accurate in appearance, and also collapsible for easy storage.

Polytech Students
Governor Markell and Secretary Small with students from Susan Wujtewicz’s environmental science classes at Polytech High School.

Youth Group – Polytech Environmental Science Students
Polytech High School students in Susan Wujtewicz’s environmental science classes serve as volunteer guides in the Eco-Explorers 5th grade field trip program at the Aquatic Resources Education Center near Smyrna as well as volunteering with other Division of Fish & Wildlife programs, projects and events. Mature and dedicated, some of the students even come in on days off from school. They also contributed macro-invertebrates from their school wetland to replenish the center’s pond.

Mary Anne Korant
Governor Markell with Mary Anne Korant.

Administration & Coordination – Mary Anne Korant
As treasurer of the Friends of Bellevue State Park, Mary Anne Korant has dedicated more than 360 volunteer hours to ensure accurate records and prompt payments as she works to find new ways to save and make money for the park. She also was instrumental to completing a memorial garden project at Bellevue.

Volunteers from Community Interactions, Inc.
Governor Markell with volunteers with Community Interactions, Inc.

Business Partner – Community Interactions, Inc.
Through Community Interactions, a dedicated group of young adult special needs volunteers have volunteered their time at the Brandywine Zoo since 2015, helping on a weekly basis during the summer with grounds maintenance.

Belvedere Volunteer Fire Company
Governor Markell with members of the Belvedere Volunteer Fire Company

Community Partnership – Belvedere Volunteer Fire Company
For 15 years, the Belvedere Volunteer Fire Company has operated a spill response trailer unit in partnership with DNREC’s Emergency Response Team in New Castle County. This Belvedere VFC unit responds to about 30 calls a year to provide rapid containment of petroleum leaks and spills. Through their volunteer efforts, an untold amount of dollars are saved each year and traffic congestion is minimized by rapid roadway cleanups.

Conservation – Laf Erickson and Bob Hackney (co-honorees)
At Holts Landing State Park in Sussex County, Laf Erickson serves as the park’s volunteer trail crew leader, leading every Friends of Holts Landing trail day since 2015; working closely with parks staff to plan and prioritize trails projects; preparing detailed project descriptions and ensuring all needed tools and supplies are on hand; attending specialized training to acquire or polish skills to benefit these projects; and working with other volunteer groups such as Boy Scouts on volunteer projects.

Bob Hackney
Governor Markell with Bob Hackney

In New Castle County, retired engineer Bob Hackney has devoted about 400 volunteer hours to boat ramp maintenance, special projects and park safety inspections at Lums Pond State Park. His work has included removing phragmites and adding sand and stone at the boat ramp, installing culverts and adding stone in low spots along the park trails, tree removal, deck repairs, sign installation, tree planting and painting.

Conservation Group – Delaware Open Space Council
The volunteer members of the state’s Open Space Council have dedicated about 400 hours to help support land protection in Delaware. In 2016, the Council took on the task of establishing criteria and conducting public meetings to modernize Delaware’s Land Protection Act, which has not been updated for 25 years.

Environmental Education – Jan Weir
Jan “The Man” Weir volunteers for Trap Pond State Park’s nature center, campground and park maintenance. He assists with park programs, works to keep water trails clear, maintains wood duck boxes, fills in as a camp host, and plans programs and activities including cardboard boat building with summer day camps and the Friday Night Campfires activity/guest speaker program. His love of the park and enthusiasm creates a positive atmosphere at the park.

Hannah Small
Governor Markell and Secretary Small with Hannah Small

Research – Hannah Small
A former intern for the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR), Hannah Small volunteered to monitor bluebird boxes along the Reserve’s trails for a Delaware State University ornithology class project. After completing her DSU project, she continued monitoring and trained four summer interns and three DNERR staff on monitoring and created GIS maps and an electronic database to house the data collected. Through her work as a DNERR Stewardship Volunteer, Hannah has helped launch a new citizen science program to promote volunteerism at the Reserve.

Coastal Monitoring Program
Governor Markell and Secretary Small with members of the Coastal Monitoring Program.

Research Group – Coastal Monitoring Program
The Coastal Monitoring Program, now celebrating its 25th anniversary, has trained more than 300 citizen volunteers since 1991, including 43 volunteers who monitored water quality at 45 different sites last year. Data collected is of extremely high quality, and used by DNREC to assess and manage several watersheds in Sussex County, protect swimmers and ensure a safe supply of clams to recreational and commercial harvesters. Program volunteers also serve as the eyes and ears of DNREC and report potential environmental violations, discolored water, fish kills and nuisance algae accumulations, as well as sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with friends and neighbors and actively promoting responsible land use and watershed stewardship.

Special Recognition Research – Joe Morris (posthumous)
As a volunteer for the Division of Fish & Wildlife, Joe Morris devoted 50 hours to collecting numerous species of finfish and finfish “hard parts” and data for the Fisheries Section to obtain important information such as age, length and weight to fulfill mandatory requirements of regional management plans and gain insight into recreational harvest practices.

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 www.dnrec.delaware.gov/volunteer/ and browse the volunteer calendar, or search by topics or categories – environmental conservation, research & monitoring, education & outreach, recreation, office & administration and internships.

Media Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 277

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Governor Markell, Secretary Small honor wide-ranging spectrum of DNREC Volunteers of the Year at State Fair

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control | Former Governor Jack Markell (2009-2017) | Date Posted: Thursday, July 28, 2016


DNREC Logo

HARRINGTON – Today at the Delaware State Fair, Governor Jack Markell and DNREC Secretary David Small honored the Department’s 2016 Volunteers of the Year – a roll call for magnanimous activity on DNREC’s behalf that saw awards presented in 11 volunteer categories.

Jeff Jones
Governor Markell with Jeff Jones, accepting the award on behalf of his son `Eric Jones

Youth – Eric Jones
For his Eagle Scout project last year, Eric Jones, 17, of Magnolia, worked 100 hours with First State Heritage Park to build an 18th century-style pull cart to carry lanterns to set up at the various locations on the park’s popular lantern tours. The four-wheeled wooden cart is both functional and historically accurate in appearance, and also collapsible for easy storage.

Polytech Students
Governor Markell and Secretary Small with students from Susan Wujtewicz’s environmental science classes at Polytech High School.

Youth Group – Polytech Environmental Science Students
Polytech High School students in Susan Wujtewicz’s environmental science classes serve as volunteer guides in the Eco-Explorers 5th grade field trip program at the Aquatic Resources Education Center near Smyrna as well as volunteering with other Division of Fish & Wildlife programs, projects and events. Mature and dedicated, some of the students even come in on days off from school. They also contributed macro-invertebrates from their school wetland to replenish the center’s pond.

Mary Anne Korant
Governor Markell with Mary Anne Korant.

Administration & Coordination – Mary Anne Korant
As treasurer of the Friends of Bellevue State Park, Mary Anne Korant has dedicated more than 360 volunteer hours to ensure accurate records and prompt payments as she works to find new ways to save and make money for the park. She also was instrumental to completing a memorial garden project at Bellevue.

Volunteers from Community Interactions, Inc.
Governor Markell with volunteers with Community Interactions, Inc.

Business Partner – Community Interactions, Inc.
Through Community Interactions, a dedicated group of young adult special needs volunteers have volunteered their time at the Brandywine Zoo since 2015, helping on a weekly basis during the summer with grounds maintenance.

Belvedere Volunteer Fire Company
Governor Markell with members of the Belvedere Volunteer Fire Company

Community Partnership – Belvedere Volunteer Fire Company
For 15 years, the Belvedere Volunteer Fire Company has operated a spill response trailer unit in partnership with DNREC’s Emergency Response Team in New Castle County. This Belvedere VFC unit responds to about 30 calls a year to provide rapid containment of petroleum leaks and spills. Through their volunteer efforts, an untold amount of dollars are saved each year and traffic congestion is minimized by rapid roadway cleanups.

Conservation – Laf Erickson and Bob Hackney (co-honorees)
At Holts Landing State Park in Sussex County, Laf Erickson serves as the park’s volunteer trail crew leader, leading every Friends of Holts Landing trail day since 2015; working closely with parks staff to plan and prioritize trails projects; preparing detailed project descriptions and ensuring all needed tools and supplies are on hand; attending specialized training to acquire or polish skills to benefit these projects; and working with other volunteer groups such as Boy Scouts on volunteer projects.

Bob Hackney
Governor Markell with Bob Hackney

In New Castle County, retired engineer Bob Hackney has devoted about 400 volunteer hours to boat ramp maintenance, special projects and park safety inspections at Lums Pond State Park. His work has included removing phragmites and adding sand and stone at the boat ramp, installing culverts and adding stone in low spots along the park trails, tree removal, deck repairs, sign installation, tree planting and painting.

Conservation Group – Delaware Open Space Council
The volunteer members of the state’s Open Space Council have dedicated about 400 hours to help support land protection in Delaware. In 2016, the Council took on the task of establishing criteria and conducting public meetings to modernize Delaware’s Land Protection Act, which has not been updated for 25 years.

Environmental Education – Jan Weir
Jan “The Man” Weir volunteers for Trap Pond State Park’s nature center, campground and park maintenance. He assists with park programs, works to keep water trails clear, maintains wood duck boxes, fills in as a camp host, and plans programs and activities including cardboard boat building with summer day camps and the Friday Night Campfires activity/guest speaker program. His love of the park and enthusiasm creates a positive atmosphere at the park.

Hannah Small
Governor Markell and Secretary Small with Hannah Small

Research – Hannah Small
A former intern for the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR), Hannah Small volunteered to monitor bluebird boxes along the Reserve’s trails for a Delaware State University ornithology class project. After completing her DSU project, she continued monitoring and trained four summer interns and three DNERR staff on monitoring and created GIS maps and an electronic database to house the data collected. Through her work as a DNERR Stewardship Volunteer, Hannah has helped launch a new citizen science program to promote volunteerism at the Reserve.

Coastal Monitoring Program
Governor Markell and Secretary Small with members of the Coastal Monitoring Program.

Research Group – Coastal Monitoring Program
The Coastal Monitoring Program, now celebrating its 25th anniversary, has trained more than 300 citizen volunteers since 1991, including 43 volunteers who monitored water quality at 45 different sites last year. Data collected is of extremely high quality, and used by DNREC to assess and manage several watersheds in Sussex County, protect swimmers and ensure a safe supply of clams to recreational and commercial harvesters. Program volunteers also serve as the eyes and ears of DNREC and report potential environmental violations, discolored water, fish kills and nuisance algae accumulations, as well as sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with friends and neighbors and actively promoting responsible land use and watershed stewardship.

Special Recognition Research – Joe Morris (posthumous)
As a volunteer for the Division of Fish & Wildlife, Joe Morris devoted 50 hours to collecting numerous species of finfish and finfish “hard parts” and data for the Fisheries Section to obtain important information such as age, length and weight to fulfill mandatory requirements of regional management plans and gain insight into recreational harvest practices.

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 www.dnrec.delaware.gov/volunteer/ and browse the volunteer calendar, or search by topics or categories – environmental conservation, research & monitoring, education & outreach, recreation, office & administration and internships.

Media Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 277

image_printPrint

Related Topics:  , , ,


Graphic that represents delaware news on a mobile phone

Keep up to date by receiving a daily digest email, around noon, of current news release posts from state agencies on news.delaware.gov.

Here you can subscribe to future news updates.