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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

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

Stefan Seifert - 2016 Recipient 

Stefan Seifert signed up as a volunteer in Bow Valley in the fall of 2005, and following early retirement several years later, substantially increased his contributions to parks.

Stefan’s considerable contributions to the Kananaskis Ecology program make a real difference to the quantity and quality of science done in the Kananaskis Region.

His involvement with the Environmental Education program exemplifies the real difference he is making in promoting a similar stewardship ethic in other Canmore residents and the thousands of visitors to Kananaskis each year.

Past Recipients
2015 Jack & Marion Whitworth, Menno & Margaret Froese, Jim & Peggy Wiebe; Dr. Charles Bird
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

Past Recipients
2004 Caitlin Way

Host Hospitality Award

Vern and Rita Young - 2016 Recipient 

If you need a lesson in angling, cleaning fish, baiting hooks, frog catching, sani-dump procedures, backing-in, registering, fire starting or just about anything, Vern and Rita Young have been your “go-to” help support system at Moonshine Lake Provincial Park, since 2009.

Travelling out to the park nearby from their home in Spirit River each May, each summer the Youngs leave a positive lasting impression on so many new and repeat visitors.

Lawrence and Gladys Whetstone - 2016 Recipient 

Grande Prairie residents Lawrence and Gladys Whetstone do a fantastic job of welcoming visitors to the Young’s Point Provincial Park, near Valleyview.

They operate the Kids Don’t Float kiosk by the boat launch – a program where lifejackets are lent out to family at no cost, so everyone can return back safe and sound, from their day on the water.

The passion Lawrence and Gladys display as campground hosts is obvious and inspires everyone around them.

Jim and Bonnie Elhorn - 2016 Recipient 

For eleven years Jim and Bonnie Elhorn have been at Saskatoon Island Provincial Park, located between Grande Prairie and their home in Beaverlodge.

They reach out to campers, providing information and even reduce stress by helping to squeeze a trailer into a site.

Bonnie and Jim have made a real difference because they have been at the park for so many years.

Answering lots questions and knowing what needs to be done without being asked, makes them a real asset to all at Saskatoon Island.

Past Recipients
2015 Ron Brochu
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

Past Recipients
2011 Chris Ha

Facility Enhancement Award

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

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

Kimiwan Lake Naturalists - 2016 Recipient

The Kimiwan Lake Naturalists are a not-for-profit society based in their home community of McLennan, and strive to provide education and interpretation, research and habitat enhancement activities. The Society maintains trails and facilities at O’ Mahony Conservation Area located at Winagami Lake Provincial Park.

Volunteers with the group regularly carry out maintenance activities, build infrastructure and conduct nature walks, all in recognition of the legacy and vison John O'Mahony left behind after his untimely death.

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

Cecil Knuttila - 2016 Recipient

Back in 1990, while inquiring about some land adjacent to his property, Cecil Knuttila heard about an opportunity to volunteer as part of the Steward Program and act as an extra set of eyes and ears on the land base.

This property was Whitecourt Candidate Natural Area, located just a little south of the Town of Whitecourt.

Cecil was quick to put his name forward to become a Steward and 26 years later, he still visits the site regularly and reports his observations from his numerous visits.

Past Recipients
2015 Myrna Peters; Nancy Boorman
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

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

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

Leonard and Eleanor Rondeau - 2016 Recipient

Leonard and Eleanor Rondeau started Hosting in 1996 from their home in Granum, and for twenty-one years, they have been dedicated hosts who've strived for excellence customer service within our parks.

Their hosting journey started out in Chinook Lake Provincial Recreation Area and then in 2000 they shifted over to Beauvais Lake Provincial Park and have been there ever since.

The Rondeaus’ constant dedication that they provide on a yearly basis is what brings campers and staff back. Their everyday presence makes a real and lasting difference.

When they are away from the park, even for a just a couple of days, the campers notice as does the staff. Campers ask “where are the hosts?” as things don’t seem to run quite as smoothly, and staff are glad to see their return.

Past Recipients
2006 Erik & Doris Hopkins, Gladys Pennock

Staff Awards for Contributions to Volunteerism

Volunteer Leadership Award

Rob Hummel - 2016 Recipient

None of the volunteer programs in Fish Creek, Brown Lowery, Big Hill Springs, and even Glenbow Ranch Provincial Parks would be possible without the efforts, expertise, and support from Rob Hummel.

As the Team Lead for Maintenance in the East Kananaskis Management Area, and in serving with Alberta Parks for nearly 30 years in and around Calgary, Rob represents the very best in being a true champion for the Volunteer Program. 

Rob works directly with volunteers in multiple parks, over a broad geographic area and through a large number of projects. 

He views this as a valuable part of his job, and the amount of time and effort he puts into this role far exceeds expectation.

Past Recipients
2015 Frank Key
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

Past Recipients
2009 Don Cockerton
2008 Ed Whitelock
2007 Doug Pilkington

Updated: Sep 19, 2016