Volunteer Appreciation Awards

Welcome to the 2019 Volunteer Appreciation Awards!

We need you to tell us about a volunteer blazing the way for good. We know there are many volunteers worthy of an award and your nominations help us identify the outstanding volunteers that deserve that special recognition for their efforts.

Nominations are open from January 1 to January 31, 2019. Awards will be presented in March of 2019 at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Event (updates to come).

This year we are introducing a new awards structure and updated categories that reflect our organization’s values and programs.

These five categories celebrate those volunteers who embody the Trail Conference’s mission and the award categories reflect our organization’s five values. There is one value that does not have its own award though, and that’s because it is a value that should be reflected in every awardee no matter the category. That value is respect. We believe respect is essential to success and therefore we expect all awardees to demonstrate respect in all they do:

These seven categories celebrate a variety of volunteers from newbies to veterans and everything in between:

Please note: Since we have updated the awards categories and nominee guidelines, we are starting with a clean slate for nominees. With the exception of the Raymond H. Torrey Award, all awards are open to any volunteer regardless if they have won an award with a similar name previously. If you'd like to see past award winners please check them out here!

If you have any questions, please send an email to [email protected].

 


 

Full Awards Descriptions

 

The Raymond H. Torrey Award for Lifetime Impact

The Trail Conference's most prestigious award honors volunteers who embody our mission and uphold our values. This award is given to those who have made significant and lasting contributions that have impacted the trails, natural lands, people and/or operations of the Trail Conference.

Raymond H. Torrey was a founding member of the Trail Conference. He was an outdoor writer, fierce advocate for open space and parks, and helped plan and create many of the popular trails in Harriman State Park and beyond.

Guidelines for Nominees:

  • Embodies multiple Trail Conference values (which can be reviewed here)
  • Has made contributions during their volunteer tenure that will have an impact for years to come. [Previous award winners include JoAnn and Paul Dolan for their efforts to save Sterling Forest and Jakob Franke for his conservation efforts on the Long Path.]
  • Volunteered with the Trail Conference for a substantial amount of time
  • May nominate multiple people together if they were all instrumental parts of the accomplishment you are nominating them for
  • Note: Those who have previously won this award and board members are not eligible

Click here to nominate someone for the Raymond H. Torrey Award for Lifetime Impact

 

The Elizabeth Levers Award for Engagement and Inclusivity

Honors those volunteers who go above and beyond to bring people into the Trail Conference family and have been strong advocates for ensuring our trails and natural areas are an inclusive environment for everyone to have the opportunity to connect with nature. They embody our value that the joys of nature belong to everyone.

Elizabeth Levers was the Trail Conference President from 1970 – 1972. She engaged numerous youth, including organizing 30 Eagle Scout projects. She was determined to bring as many people into the fold as possible because, as she stated, "You need an ongoing belief in this kind of thing to keep the trails alive."

Guidelines for Nominees:

  • Made significant contributions and efforts that embody the corresponding Trail Conference value: “The joys of nature belong to everyone. All people—regardless of age, ability, or location—should be able to experience the rewards of connecting with nature.”
  • Examples of applicable efforts are someone who consistently engages outside and diverse groups of people, or significantly supports or even creates recruitment efforts and resources.
  • Volunteered with the Trail Conference for at least a few years
  • Has been actively involved within the last three years
  • May nominate multiple people together if they were all instrumental parts of the accomplishment you are nominating them for
  • Note: Board members are not eligible for this award

Click here to nominate someone for the Elizabeth Levers Award for Engagement and Inclusivity

 

The Jakob Franke Award for Conservation

Honors volunteers who have advocated for and dedicated significant time and effort to open-space and land preservation and trail protection in the face of encroaching development. They embody our value that conservation is a shared duty and that we must preserve the integrity of our natural world.

Jakob Franke was chair of the Conservation Committee and worked tirelessly to preserve and protect land for the future, including helping to protect the Palisades from the proposed outsized construction of LG headquarters. He was a plaintiff in the lawsuit, a speaker at meetings, and went door-to-door to educate the public.

Guidelines for Nominees:

  • Made significant contributions and efforts that embody the corresponding Trail Conference value: “Environmental conservation is a shared duty. We must preserve the integrity of our natural world—not only to sustain our trail systems, but to ensure future generations can enjoy the outdoor experiences a healthy planet has to offer.”
  • Examples of applicable efforts are someone who played a significant role in a land acquisition project, trail easement project, or project advocating for land/trail protection in the face of development.
  • Volunteered with the Trail Conference for at least a few years
  • Has been actively involved within the last three years
  • May nominate multiple people together if they were all instrumental parts of the accomplishment you are nominating them for
  • Note: Board members are not eligible for this award

Click here to nominate someone for the Jakob Franke Award for Conservation

 

The William Hoeferlin Award for Exemplary Leadership

Honors volunteers who have contributed long-time exemplary service in a leadership capacity by supporting other volunteers and/or spearheading a major project. They embody our value of celebrating volunteers and recognizing that they make the trails and protection of the lands we love possible.

William Hoeferlin dedicated himself to leading his hiking group of 40+ people to engage with the trails. He devoted countless hours to discovering, developing, clearing, and marking trails in the New York metropolitan area and in 1934 he even began making his own trail maps that quickly became the key source for most hikers and volunteers.

Guidelines for Nominees:

  • Made significant contributions and efforts that embody the corresponding Trail Conference value: “Creating and protecting trails is a labor of love. We celebrate our volunteers—their passion, dedication, and leadership make the trails we all love possible.”
  • Is someone who has empowered, inspired and enabled others to volunteer and make a big impact. Examples of applicable efforts include initiatives of outreach, leading trainings or work trips, expanding recruitment efforts, spearheading a big project or event, stewarding a group/committee of volunteers, etc.
  • Volunteered with the Trail Conference for at least a few years
  • Has been actively involved within the last three years
  • May nominate multiple people together if they were all instrumental parts of the accomplishment you are nominating them for
  • Note: Board members are not eligible for this award

Click here to nominate someone for the William Hoeferlin Award for Exemplary Leadership.

 

The Joan Ehrenfeld Award for Responsible Stewardship

Honors volunteers who have dedicated significant time and effort into the conscientious stewardship of protected natural areas or environmentally-responsible trail construction and education. They embody our value that the right path is always a responsible one.

Dr. Joan Ehrenfeld, a professor of Ecology at Rutgers, was an expert on invasive species, wetlands ecology, and urban ecology. She helped found the Trail Conference’s invasive species efforts and brought an environmental science focus to trail management.

Guidelines for Nominees

  • Made significant contributions and efforts that embody the corresponding Trail Conference value: “The right path is always a responsible one. We take land stewardship seriously and approach every decision—whether we’re out in the field or in our headquarters—with balanced judgment and firm conscience.”
  • Has played a significant role in environmentally-responsible education, a land stewardship project on already-protected lands, a sustainable trail construction project, or other efforts embodying responsible stewardship of protected lands.
  • Is someone who goes above and beyond to develop solutions for protecting the environment and incorporates science into thoughtful management and practices of stewardship for the trails and land.
  • Volunteered with the Trail Conference for at least a few years
  • Has been actively involved within the last three years
  • May nominate multiple people together if they were all instrumental parts of the accomplishment you are nominating them for
  • Note: Board members are not eligible for this award

Click here to nominate someone for the Joan Ehrenfeld Award for Responsible Stewardship

 

The Rising Leader Award

Honors volunteers who have taken on additional responsibilities with great enthusiasm over the last two years and demonstrate leadership qualities. They selflessly keep dedicating more time and effort and they show no signs of slowing down.

Guidelines for nominations:

  • Has taken on increasing responsibilities in the last 2 years and demonstrated leadership qualities
  • Volunteered for more than 1 year (under 1 year please nominate for the "Hit the Ground Running Award")

Click here to nominate someone for the Rising Leader Award

 

The Paul Leiken Award for Going the Extra Mile

Honors those volunteers who have gone the extra-mile and made a significant contribution in the last year.

Guidelines for nominations:

  • Has accomplished something noteworthy and substantial in the last 12 to 18 months. Examples of applicable efforts include leading a response to a crisis like major storm damage; championing advocacy efforts; organizing a key project or event, etc.
  • Volunteered for more than 1 year (under 1 year please nominate for the "Hit the Ground Running Award")
  • Can be an individual or group of people

Click here to nominate someone for the Paul Leiken Award for Going the Extra Mile

 

The Hit the Ground Running Award

Honors volunteers who “hit the ground running” and made a strong impact within their first two years of service.

Guidelines for nominations:

  • Began volunteering with the Trail Conference within the last two years
  • Went above and beyond what was expected of them during their first 24 months as a volunteer

Click here to nominate someone for the Hit the Ground Running Award

 

The Next Generation Award

Honors volunteers under 25 years of age who have enthusiastically and passionately made contributions serving the Trail Conference's mission.

Guidelines for nominations:

  • Under age 25 for majority of volunteer service or project being nominated for
  • Is someone who shows a respect for trails and the natural land and has demonstrated a long-term passion for the outdoors
  • Volunteer contributions took place within the last 2 years
  • Served within the past 1-2 years (preferably past year)

Click here to nominate someone for the Next Generation Award

 

The Milestone Award

Honors long-time, dedicated volunteers who have contributed unwavering service over the years. Milestone Awards will be given to volunteers each time they hit a decade milestone of service (10 years, 20 years, 30 years, etc.).

Click here to nominate someone for the Milestone Award. The goal is to have this award automatically generated, however if you know of someone who is hitting a decade milestone tell us about them to ensure we don’t miss them.

 

The Ken Lloyd Award for Outstanding Member Club

Honors member clubs who have provided remarkable service to trails and natural lands in partnership with the Trail Conference.

Ken Lloyd was a long-time volunteer who led the Woodland Trail Walkers member club. Their efforts played a crucial role in preserving High Mountain and Pyramid Mountain.

Guidelines for nominations:

  • Is a recognized member club of the Trail Conference
  • Has been an active member club within the past 1 to 2 years

Click here to nominate a club for the Ken Lloyd Award for Outstanding Member Club

 

The Major William A. Welch Award for Outstanding Partner

Honors organizations or individual partners who have been strong advocates for and provided significant assistance to Trail Conference volunteers.

Major William A. Welch was instrumental in creating Harriman State Park and the Appalachian Trail. He served as the park’s first general manager and was a co-founder of the Trail Conference.

Guidelines for nominations:

  • Intended for a park or organization who has served as a partner with the Trail Conference and has been especially supportive of volunteers by going above and beyond what was expected
  • Has been an active partner within the past 1 to 2 years
  • Examples of those eligible are state, federal, or local agency partner officials

Click here to nominate a partner for the Major William A. Welch Award for Outstanding Partner