Governor's Volunteer Award Winners

Posted on June 3, 2016 in Blog

Six Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation volunteers were recently honored with the prestigious Governor’s Volunteer Award. The award, coordinated by Volunteer Iowa, has recognized the time, service and commitment of hundreds of volunteers across the state since 1982.

Join us in congratulating the following recipients:

Ron Schulz of Des Moines

  • ronRon Schulz is a master volunteer who has made giving back one of his personal goals. He gives time to many organizations, but was a pioneer of INHF’s volunteer program. Since it began in 2013, he has attended multiple events and has been a sounding board for new ideas as they develop. He’s given many hours to us, and those are just the ones we’ve counted. He always comes with a smile on his face and is one of our best supporters. He’s willing to try new things and adapt to the changes of the program. It’s clear he’s passionate about Iowa’s land, water and wildlife.

Marilyn Sand of Des Moines

  • marilynMarilyn Sand is a patient and devoted volunteer to INHF. Caring for and volunteering on behalf of the land can take many forms — Marilyn mainly helps out in our office. She assists in producing mailings and organizing files. She is practically on-call for whenever we need some assistance, and we couldn’t be more grateful. She has been part of our program since the start — she’s seen changes and has been supportive of the adaptation and growth of the program. We’re extremely lucky to have her on our team.

Nathan Houck of Des Moines

  • nathanNathan Houck is a silent leader. He uses his skills as a photographer to donate massive amounts of time to INHF. The photos he takes help us protect land for Iowans to enjoy and for future generations. With his photos, we can visually show why the land is not only important, but beautiful. We’ve begun to give him assignments and he travels the state to complete photo needs we have. He’s easy to work with and excited about the mission. He’s interested in learning what our needs are and how to best assist us. He’s energetic and giving. Patient and understanding. We’re lucky to have him on our team!

Catherine Wilson of Des Moines

  • catheCatherine Wilson regularly practices generosity. In 2015, she gave significant amounts of time to INHF, and we are aware that she volunteers for MANY other organizations. She has a compassionate heart and a great determination to make the world a better place. She helped INHF organize a member-wide survey and assisted in organizing a multi-state trails conference. Without her organization and persistence, the conference would not have been so successful. She also travels the state to volunteer at our outdoor land restoration events. She’s reliable and excited to help. Without a doubt, she’s who we call if we know a job needs to be done, and done right. Not only that, she’s friendly and always volunteers with a smile.

Devvin Schroeder of Decorah

  • devvinDevvin Schroeder dedicated her entire 2015 summer to restoring Iowa’s land, water and wildlife. She worked alongside INHF’s blufflands intern crew, a crew that works 10-hour days during the summer months to restore Iowa’s northeastern native landscape. Devvin gave 440 hours in one summer, and did the whole thing with great determination, enthusiasm and a smile on her face. What’s more? She did it as a high-schooler (she graduates May 2016). It’s easy to pinpoint where Devvin became interested in the outdoors (her parents are both conservationists), but her passion is something that can’t be taught. One conversation with this young girl, and you’ll too be convinced about the importance of working on behalf of Iowa’s wild places.

Dennis Haller of Decorah

  • dennisThere are no adequate words to describe our experience with Dennis Haller. It’s clear he’s passionate about Iowa’s wild places; he exemplifies that by not only devoting his time to INHF, but doing so in a capacity that’s above and beyond any expectations we’d ever hold. He’s a fervent volunteer, supporter and advocate. He comes to our events and offers to be a group leader during them, helps us prepare the land for prescribed fire and assists us in collecting seed or removing invasive species from the woodland. We learn as much from him as he might us. He’s the person we can call when we need feedback or want to present new ideas. He’s willing to speak on our behalf. We’re honored to know him and we believe everyone in the state should be grateful that he’s “one of us” (an Iowan).

The recipients will be honored at separate ceremonies:

Des Moines Ceremony:
June 21
Pleasant Hill, Iowa
10:30 a.m.
Southeast Polk High School

Decorah Ceremony:
June 28
Cedar Falls, Iowa
1:30 p.m.
University of Northern Iowa