In recognition of her outstanding contributions to Three Rivers Park District, Hannah Wachtler, of Ramsey, has been awarded the Park District’s Distinguished Volunteer Service Award for her service as a program assistant and natural resources project assistant at Eastman Nature Center and Crow-Hassan Park Reserve.
Wachtler, 15, has been volunteering for Three Rivers for almost four years. She has volunteered a total of 636 hours, with a total of 155 hours last year alone. She will be honored by the Park District Board of Commissioners at an April 20 award ceremony.
As a program assistant, Wachtler helps children with crafts, snacks, hikes and other fun activities during summer camps. She also volunteers for a number of Eastman’s major events including Halloween, Nature Hike with Santa and the annual Eggstravaganza. As a natural resources project assistant, she identifies and collects native prairie seeds in Crow-Hassan Park Reserve in support of the Park District’s prairie restoration efforts.
Wachtler said, “Sharing my knowledge, giving someone a new experience or insight or simply making them smile is an amazing feeling,” is why she volunteers.
Wachtler encourages other youth to get involved in volunteering.
“Through volunteering, you learn new information and skills, try new things and meet wonderful people,” she said.
Kim Nowicki, Outdoor Education Supervisor for Eastman Nature Center, said it is “energizing” to have Wachtler as a volunteer.
“Whether it’s teaching adults and children about a monarch butterfly, or dressing up as a ladybug on our Halloween character trail, Hannah does it all with enthusiasm,” she said.
The Park District benefits from the services of volunteers in many ways, including farm, nature, recreation, art and history program assistance, patrolling slopes and trails, surveying wildlife, assisting with special events and races, gardening and collecting prairie seeds.
For more information about volunteer opportunities within the Park District, visit www.ThreeRiversParks.org/volunteer or contact the Volunteer Office at 763-559-6706.