Cold Lake PP - Banner Image
About Us on on on on FacebookAlberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation Blog


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.
Past Recipients
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.

Doug & Bev Pickell
2013 Recipient

For the past eight summer seasons, campers at Firerock Campground in Cypress Hills Provincial Park have been welcomed and served by Doug and Bev Pickell. Visitors from Medicine Hat and throughout Southeast Alberta appreciate having people in the campground who can readily assist with public safety situations, lost and found pets, information requests and tent set up.

Their genuine commitment to help visitors and staff leaves a lasting positive impression on all who have the pleasure of coming into contact with them.


Allan & Shirley Sept
2013 Recipient

Since 2009, Alan and Shirley Sept have devoted their summers to volunteering as the Campground Hosts at Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park/Áísínai'pi National Historic Site.

During their time at the park, the Septs have become fully integrated into all program areas in park service delivery including: assisting Information Officers with comfort camping check-ins; supporting Conservation Officers with snake relocation; and helping maintenance with after-hours troubleshooting and repairs.

They work tirelessly to ensure all visitors have the remarkable experience they have come to expect from this world class park.


Past Recipients
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.

The Venturers Society - Elkwater
2013 Recipient

The Venturers Society Program, founded in 1986 by Bill Nike, has since established several teams in Alberta's provincial parks. It provides an opportunity for people with developmental disabilities to experience the wonders of nature and to provide meaningful participation in a park setting.

In 2004, a Venturers group started in Cypress Hills Provincial Park. It was so successful that a second group commenced in the fall of 2005. Since then, the two groups have become integral to park operations, by assembling picnic tables, installing signs, fencing, litter and garbage collection, removing deadfall and hazardous trees and operating the bottle recycling program.

Past Recipients
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).

Castle Crown Wilderness Coalition
2013 Recipient

The Castle Crown Wilderness Coalition envisions "a world in which wilderness survives so that wildlands and wildlife may thrive, and future generations can know their natural beauty and diversity."

Based in Pincher Creek, this group encourages education and appreciation throughout the Castle Special Management Area.

Starting out as Stewards for Big Sagebrush Candidate Natural Area in 1994 and West Castle Ecological Reserve in 2005, they recently added projects at Beauvais Lake Provincial Park and Beaver Mines Provincial Recreation to their ongoing workload.

That work includes invasive species management, amphibian monitoring, clean ups and tours, in parks and throughout the area, helping connect people to the land and leaving the lasting legacy they strive for.

Past Recipients
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.

2013 Awards - Outstanding Individual StewardGuy and Nonie Swinnerton
2013 Recipient

Guy and Nonie joined the Steward Program in 1997 as Stewards at Beaverhill Natural Area. In 2001, they became Stewards at Hastings Lake Islands Natural Area, near Tofield. For the last 16 years, they have been visiting, monitoring and reporting, in detail, what occurs in the natural area.

Guy and Nonie visit the site regularly in their canoes and tour around the lake and islands to observe the site including the wildlife: double-crested cormorants, American white pelicans, sandpipers, terns, gulls, Canada geese, various ducks, and great blue herons.

Both Guy and Nonie have an appreciation for the practical dimensions of nature conservation and a longtime interest in parks and protected areas.


2013 Awards - Outstanding Individual Steward 2Doug Kielau
2013 Recipient

Doug Kielau joined the Steward Program in 1988 as a Steward for Threepoint Creek Natural Area. This natural area is located at the confluence to the Sheep River and Threepoint Creek, approximately 20 kilometres west of Okotoks.

For the past 25 years, Doug has regularly visited the site and treasured the opportunity to escape the city and observe the wildlife and the seasonal changes that occur. Doug recognizes the importance of protecting these sites for future generations.

Past Recipients
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
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

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.
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