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Volunteers contribute almost 100,000 hours to Alberta's parks system annually. They bring talent, enthusiasm and new ideas that enrich our program and help us achieve our goals. We recognize and appreciate the efforts of every volunteer. However, we present achievement awards each year to celebrate special individuals and organizations who exceed expectations and inspire us all.

Volunteer Award Nominations

There are so many volunteers and volunteer iniaitives throughout the province, we need we need your help. Tell us about the individuals and organizations who go above and beyond volunteering in Alberta's parks system. Nomination submissions are encouraged from anyone. To nominate, please

  • Review the award descriptions below.
  • Complete the nomination form.
  • Submit by the nomination(s) by May 15.

Both the successful nominees and their nominators will be invited to the awards banquet.

Volunteer Awards

Please read these award descriptions carefully before completing the nomination form.

Parks and Protected Areas Achievement Award

  • Presented to an individual.
  • Recognizing a special or significant achievement for a park, protected area, staff, customers, project or program from volunteer efforts.

Jack & Marion Whitworth, Menno & Margaret Froese, Jim & Peggy Wiebe - 2015 Recipients

2015 Awards PPA Achievement Award Marion And Jack Whitworth Margaret And Menno Froese

Jack and Marion Whitworth are like a tree whose branch tips keep dividing to bear more fruit.

They started out volunteering in Bow Valley Provincial Park in 2007, and over the past eight years, they have recruited several friends from their community of Canmore, to join their quest of supporting parks.

Five years ago, together with their friends Menno and Margaret Froese and Jim and Peggy Wiebe, they took on the regular task of monitoring wildlife cameras that are permanently installed at two underpasses and five jump-out locations along the trans-Canada Highway.

Every month - rain, shine, sleet, freeze or flood (as it turned out in 2013), they change the batteries and camera cards at the seven sites.

Community, contribution, learning and physical activity outdoors are all factors of long-term health and happiness in our senior years, and these three couples offer a great role model in all these themes.

As a group, and as individuals, they are part and parcel of an Alberta Parks team, in a community of care, that pulls for a common purpose.  


2015 Awards Parks And Protected Areas Achievement Award Dr Charles BirdDr. Charles Bird - 2015 Recipient

If he isn’t chasing butterflies, he’s leading groups of keen-eyed nature lovers through waist deep shrubbery.

Dr. Charles Bird, or "Charley" has he is known in the field, eagerly donated his time, efforts and passions to Alberta Parks over the past sixteen years.

His ongoing devotion to citizen science projects, like the Dry Island Buffalo Jump Annual Butterfly Count, has led to the collection of reliable and highly valued butterfly and moth species counts in the area.

A retired University of Calgary botanist who now resides in Erskine, Charley regularly conducts guided walks and species counts of vascular plants, fungi, birds, and butterflies in many of East Central Alberta parks located in the Counties of Red Deer, Stettler, Kneehill, Starland and Paintearth.

This dedication to research and education within numerous protected areas, has proven invaluable to staff and visitors and has no doubt contributed to the future preservation of these places.

Charley's love of nature and desire to share it with others drives him to continue to support Alberta Parks research and education initiatives.



Past Recipients
2014 Tom Partello; Linda Lefebvre; Gary Martin
2011 Susan & Alasdair Cook; Mike Walters
2008 Jamie Grey, June Hills, Gerry Hurley
2004 Patsy Cotterill
2003 Casey Bizon
2002 Ron & Ken Valens, Joann Skilnick
2001 Bill Scott
2000 Tom Bull

Parks and Protected Areas Junior Achievement Award

  • Presented to a youth.
  • Recognizing volunteer activities affecting a park, protected area, staff, customers, project or program in a special or significant way.
Past Recipients
2004 Caitlin Way

Host Hospitality Award

  • Presented to an individual or couple
  • Recognizing consistent outstanding hospitality as Campground Hosts
  • Nominees have volunteered considerable hours either within seasons or over a number of years at one or more sites.


2015 Awards Host Hospitality Award Ron BrochuRon Brochu - 2015 Recipient

Since 2009, Ron Brochu has been happily hosting at Reesor Lake Campground in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.

Whether greeting visitors from his hometown of Medicine Hat, or from surrounding Cypress County or from throughout Southeast Alberta, he enjoys spending his days helping to ensure every visitor enjoys their stay – and he is good at it.

Ron is a person that has a tremendous attitude towards life and has been able to share that with the many visitors he comes into contact with.



Past Recipients
2014 Jack & Audrey McKee; Judith & Danny Clarke
2013 Doug and Bev Pickell; Allan and Shirley Sept
2012 Victor & Frances Grimbly
2011 Vern & Bev Poffenroth
2010 Len & Jane Den Braber; William, Susan, Michael & Rebecca Walsh
2009 Ken & Pat Hatt; Frank & Arol Longhurst; Leonard & Eleanor Rondeau
2008 Ralph & Joan Siska
2007 Ron Bishop; Jim & Lucienne Salahub
2006 Marshal & Pat Melnyk; Jacob & Edna Reimer
2005 Fred & Yvonne Holowack; Harry & Annie Wit
2004 Tony & Alberta Van Dyk
2003 Mike & Jean Kliparchuk; Roy & Edith Middleton; Scotty & Murri Spence
2002 Earl & Kathleen Barr; Rose Eichorn
2001 Al & Jeanne Bosserts; Carolyn & Ed Weymouth
2000 Doug & Joyce Arnold; Nancy & Keith Becker; Roy & Dorothy Jones
1999 Ed & Claire Fafard
1998 Irene & Doug Dahl

Inclusion Award

  • New award established in 2011
  • Presented to an idividual or organization
  • Recognizes those who have made exceptional efforts to ensuring all Albertans experience the awe and wonder of our treasured natural spaces
Past Recipients
2011 Chris Ha

Facility Enhancement Award

  • Presented to an individual or organization.
  • Recognizing significant contributions to maintenance or enhancement of park facility infrastructure like trails, signs and buildings.
Past Recipients
2012 Hinton Nordic Skiers & Jeff Burgess and Denis Grenier
2007 Mike Radik
2006 Peter Spear
2004 Friends of Switzer Park Association

Partnership Appreciation Award

  • Presented to a co-operating association, partnering agency or group.
  • Recognizing considerable contributions to park programs, services or facilities.
Past Recipients
2013 The Venturers Society - Elkwater 
2008 Hay-Zama Wildland Park Management Committee
2006 William Watson Lodge Society
2005 Friends of Saskatoon Island Association
2002 Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory, Elkwater Volunteer Fire Department
2001 Friends of the Blackfoot Society, Venturers' Society of Calgary
2000 Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society

Outstanding Group Steward Award

  • Presented to a group or organization.
  • Recognizing recent efforts, contributed considerably to the preservation and/or appreciation of a protected area (e.g. time, special project).
Past Recipients
2013 Castle Crown Wilderness Coalition
2010 The J. J. Collett Natural Area Foundation
2009 Medicine Hat College (Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership Program)
2008 Glory Hills Junior Forest Wardens
2007 Beaverhill Bird Observatory
2006 Edmonton Mycological Society
2005 Fort Saskatchewan Naturalists
2004 Alberta Native Plant Council
2003 The J. J. Collett Natural Area Foundation
2002 Eagles Junior Forest Warden Club
2001 Bruderheim Natural Area Society
2000 Stony Plain Fish and Game Association
1999 Battle Lake Natural Area Preservation Society, Alberta Speleological Society, Sherwood Park Natural Area Volunteer Stewards and Strathcona County
1998 Alpine Club of Canada, North Ram Wilderness Society
1993 Bruderheim Natural Area Society
1990 Sherwood Park Natural Area Volunteer Stewards and Strathcona County, Wagner Natural Area Society

Outstanding Individual Steward Award

  • Presented to an individual, couple or family participating in the Steward Program.
  • Recognizing recent efforts with significant contributions to the preservation and/or appreciation of aprotected area.


2015 Awards Outstanding Individual Steward Award Myrna PetersMyrna Peters - 2015 Recipient

Back in 1999, Myrna Peters made the decision to become a Steward to help make a difference in the preservation and protection of the lands.

Myrna's passion resulted in becoming a volunteer for three natural areas in Brazeau County, near her home in Drayton Valley: Buck Lake Creek, Carnwood Modeste and Modeste Creek Natural Areas.

Sixteen years later, Myrna's passion has only grown and she continues her efforts to ensure these natural areas continue to be available for all to enjoy and experience.



2015 Awards Outstanding Individual Steward Award Nancy BoormanNancy Boorman - 2015 Recipient

Nancy Boorman became a Steward for Mill Island Natural Area in 2001. This natural area is located just north of Rocky Mountain House in the Clearwater County, and is located on a floodplain of the North Saskatchewan River.

Accessible by foot during low flow period, the site becomes an island during high water and is in high use by wildlife throughout the year.

Nancy has gained much knowledge of this unique site and looks forward to continuing on with the site for many years to come, with hopes that it remains as natural as possible.


Past Recipients
2014 Fran & Connie Lavoie
2013 Guy and Nonie Swinnerton; Doug Kielau
2011 Kate Reeves, Faith Young
2010 Robert Faulds
2009 Gertie Meyer
2008 Bob Gouin
2007 Elmar Augart
2006 Tim Giese
2005 Bertha Ford
2004 Tony Blake
2003 Gladys Pennock, Margot Hervieux
2002 Aaron & Elise Bowersock; Curtis Siegfried
2001 The DeSmet Family, Fred Korbut
2000 Derry and Ora White
1998 Louisa Rich
1993 Lee Finstad, Des Allen
1990 Mike McNaugthon, Mike Glossop

Steward Service Excellence Award

  • Presented to an individual or a group participating in the Steward Program.
  • Recognizing
    • Long-term commitment and consistent demonstration of the spirit of stewardship
    • Dedication, positive attitude and actions benefiting their protected area and the Steward Program.
Past Recipients
2008 Margot Hervieux
2005 Big Lake Environmental Support Society
2004 Rainbow Equitation Society
2003 Riverlot 56 Natural Area Society
2002 Sherwood Park Natural Area Volunteer Stewards
2001 Red Deer River Naturalist Society
2000 Wagner Natural Area Society
1999 Alison Dinwoodie
1998 Dorothy Dickson
1997 Doris and Eric Hopkins

Green Shield Award

  • Presented to an individual or organization.
  • Recognizing significant contributions to preservation and conservation of land, water, ecosystems and/or the plants and animals that that depend on them.
  • Nominees have invested extensive time, often spanning many years.
  • Created in 2001 to honour the International Year of the Volunteer.

Past Recipients
2014 Harry & Annie Wit
2006 Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory Society
2003 Wagner Natural Area Society
2002 Eric & Doris Hopkins
2001 Des Allen & Peter Sherrington

Lifetime Volunteerism Achievement Award

  • Presented to an individual or couple.
  • Recognize a lengthy and continuous service to park and protected areas.
  • Nominees are a shining example of the difference one person can make, one day at a time, over a period spanning decades.
Past Recipients
2006 Erik & Doris Hopkins, Gladys Pennock

Staff Awards for Contributions to Volunteerism

Volunteer Leadership Award

  • Presented to a staff member.
  • Recognizing exceptional leadership contributing in a significant way to the success of park volunteerism. Efforts, at a local or provincial level, exceed the expectations of their employment.

2015 Awards Volunteer Leadership Appreciation Award Frank KeyFrank Key - 2015 Recipient

Frank Key has been an employee with Alberta Parks for twenty-nine years, serving as a maintenance worker during that entire time and is currently in the role of District Maintenance Foreman for the Camrose District.

Frank strives to ensure the parks within the district look their best and contribute to a positive and memorable visitor experience.

Since 1992, Frank has been heavily involved in the Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival held annually at the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area.

He has been praised many times for his hard work and dedication, and most recently at the event’s Viking Feast this past year, where his service to the Loppet was highlighted - the Birkebeiners rose for a standing ovation to celebrate his contribution.

There is no one more knowledgeable about setting the track for the 1600 skiers who come from the Edmonton Capital Region, throughout Alberta, and around the world.

Frank’s efforts in engaging and enabling community to serve us all, through parks, is a shining example of an exceptional standard of public service.


Past Recipients
2011 Jeff Eamon
2010 Magi Scallion
2008 Clara Wakeford
2006 Ed Whitelock
2005 Don Cockerton
2003 Glenn Naylor
2002 Jim Stomp
2001 Sandra Myers
2000 Doug Pilkington

Staff Lifetime Volunteerism Achievement Award

  • Presented to a staff member who has previously received the Volunteer Leadership Award.
  • Recognizing cumulative accomplishments spanning their career. Have made a significant impact on park volunteerism, customer service, or preservation of natural history.
  • Presented to an individual or couple
  • a long standing commitment to Alberta Parks, spanning more than 25 years
  • Have been previously recognized with another provincial award above
Past Recipients
2009 Don Cockerton
2008 Ed Whitelock
2007 Doug Pilkington