Volunteer Awards

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at the Cambridge Elks Lodge #1272 on April 14, 2016, in celebration of the outstanding contributions made by volunteers during 2015. During 2015, 169 volunteers donated 9,800 hours of their time to the Refuge, which is equivalent to nearly five full-time staff. A big THANK YOU goes out to all our volunteers who work day in and day out to provide a quality visitor experience for our public and to monitor wildlife and enhance habitats.

The 2015 Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Mr. Edward Hessler for his dedicated service to Blackwater NWR. Ed has volunteered at the Refuge since 2009, staffing the Visitor Center weekly, and filling in frequently whenever needed. He assists with the Refuge's annual events, including the Eagle Festival and Youth Fishing Fun Day. He has donated over 1,400 hours to the Refuge, giving 320 hours in 2015 alone. His dependability and kind nature has been a wonderful asset to the Refuge, and we are lucky to have him as a volunteer!

See the volunteer newsletter (PDF, 236 KB) for more information on the volunteer awards for 2015. And thanks to all those wonderful individuals who did so much in 2015 to make Blackwater NWR a great place to visit!