GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers (RFOV) honored its extraordinary volunteers at an awards ceremony and dinner held Oct. 25 at the Glenwood Springs Community Center.
Each year, RFOV recognizes project and committee volunteers, agency partners, and food sponsors who have gone the extra mile to help fulfill the nonprofit's mission of promoting stewardship of public lands through volunteer opportunities for trail work and conservation projects.
Scott Gordon of Snowmass Village was named Volunteer of the Year. In 2007, Gordon reached out to RFOV for information on how to maintain trails, specifically the Rim Trail that runs behind his house. That launched his engagement with RFOV and volunteering on projects.
In 2009, he joined the Project Selection Committee and in 2010, the RFOV board. Gordon has manned trailhead tables, helped set up and present RFOV Road Shows, posted project fliers, written articles for the newsletter, and helped coordinate, volunteers through his position with Alpine Bank. He is a passionate and active ambassador for RFOV and stewardship of our trails and public lands.
The Pulaski Award goes to the volunteer who has completed the most RFOV projects in the season: Carbondale resident Michael Hutton, who volunteered on eight project days this year. One of RFOV's founders, Hutton has been a dedicated volunteer throughout RFOV's 17-year history, and this is his second Pulaski Award.
Gail Mason of Aspen was named Crew Leader of the Year for the second year in a row. Mason volunteered on six projects this year.
Building on a strong foundation of RFOV trail work experience that began in 2007 through the Aspen Cycling Club, Mason began her crew leader training in 2008. She volunteered as an assistant crew leader through 2009, and began leading her own crews in 2010.
Steve Anthony, Garfield County's weed management specialist, accepted the award for this year's Agency Partner of the Year. Every year since 2006, RFOV has completed one tamarisk removal project between Rifle and Glenwood Springs, working with partners including Garfield County, Trout Unlimited, the cities of Rifle and Glenwood Springs, CDOT, LoVa Trails, and Roaring Fork Conservancy in clearing dozens of acres of riverbank of this invasive plant.
Garfield County, represented by Anthony, has been the indispensible partner in each of these projects. Anthony plays a key role in identifying projects sites, providing the resources required, and is enthusiastic about involving volunteers in these efforts.
Glenwood Canyon Resort was named Food Sponsor of the Year. Over the years, RFOV has been fortunate to have local restaurants donate food for its end-of-the-day dinners to reward volunteers for their hard work on project days. For the No Name Trail project on Sept. 22, Glenwood Canyon Resort generously provided space for parking and put on a dinner for all volunteers after a full day of work.
The 2012 Ambassador of the Year Award was presented to Dick Wells of Carbondale. He served as Ambassador on three projects this year: one of the Wulfsohn evenings in May; the Basalt Bridge project, where he and fellow Ambassador Marty Manosevitz kept the lemonade and Gatorade flowing for the 80-plus volunteers on a very hot June 23; and in a 180-degree reversal, kept the coffee and hot chocolate going on one of the rainiest and coldest RFOV projects ever with the tamarisk project on Oct. 13 in Glenwood Springs.
"Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers commends its entire community of volunteers who helped make the 2012 such a successful season," said RFOV Executive Director David Hamilton.
RFOV completed 70 volunteer field days in 2012. That is a dramatic increase from previous years, when the group marked 23 field days in 2009, 35 in 2010, and 63 in 2011.
"Despite the challenging economy, RFOV is growing and increasing the amount of trail and restoration work completed every year," Hamilton said.
Since 1995, RFOV has engaged more than 15,173 volunteers on 156 large-scale projects. In 16 years, the group has built 31.25 miles of new trail, helped maintain another 271 miles, planted more than 11,750 trees and shrubs and 11 acres of wetlands, and cleared dozens of acres of invasive species such as tamarisk.
For more information, visit www.rfov.org or call 927-8241.