Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at the Cambridge Elks Lodge on April 27, 2017, in celebration of the outstanding contributions made by volunteers during 2016. During 2016, 192 volunteers donated 10,003 hours of their time to the Refuge, which is equivalent to nearly 5 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.
This year, Jane Sebring received the 2016 Volunteer of the Year Award for her dedicated service to Blackwater NWR. Jane has volunteered at the Refuge since 2013, helping to maintain the Beneficial Insect and Butterfly Garden located behind the Visitor Center. During 2016, she single-handedly maintained the garden until mid-summer, when other volunteers were able to step in and help out. The garden is a great place to look for butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators, and is now used as part of the 4th grade environmental education program on the Refuge. Jane assists with the Refuge's annual Eagle Festival and has also taken on the role of entrance fee counter. At the end of 2016, she had donated over 425 hours to the Refuge. Her passionate, hard-working nature and optimistic spirit is felt by all who know and work with her. Congratulations, Jane!
See the volunteer newsletter (PDF, 878 KB) for more information on the volunteer awards for 2016. And thanks to all those wonderful individuals who did so much in 2016 to make Blackwater NWR a great place to visit!