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Friends and Volunteers Appreciation Potluck Dinner


On Thursday, January 9, Illinois Department of Natural Resources staff honored 106 volunteers who donated their services to Volo Bog State Natural Area, Moraine Hills State Park, and McHenry Dam in 2019. Together they contributed over 4,000 hours to these Illinois Department of Natural Resources sites! Special Recognition was given to Steve Domski of McHenry and Caryn McAndrews of Woodstock as Volunteers of the Year at Moraine Hills State Park/McHenry Dam, and Volo Bog State Natural Area, respectively.  

Steve Domski of McHenry began volunteering for Moraine Hills State Park in 2011. He tends a prairie garden, serves as a docent in the Nature Center, and is a driving member of the Volunteer Veterans Conservation Corps. In 2012, Steve joined the board of directors of Friends of Moraine Hills State Park, a 501(c)(3) organization. He is a leading force for Moraine Hills Run for the Hills, the Friends’ major fundraiser, as well as a valuable contributor to theFriends & Family Fishing Day and Discover Archery. Steve is a frequent contributor to the Friends’newsletter. In 2019, Steve worked with the site naturalist to create an Ice Fishing program that includes a classroom session and fishing out on the ice of Lake Defiance. Finally, Steve can also be found filling bird feeders throughout the park each winter. Steve contributed 180 hours in 2019.


Caryn McAndrews of Woodstock was named Volunteer of the Year for Volo Bog State Natural Area. Caryn began volunteering at Volo Bog in 2014 as a Thursday Docent and Interpretive Office Support, greeting visitors in the Visitor Center, and helping out in the Friends of Volo Bog’s Tamarack Shop. She is now the gift shop’s coordinator and buyer. She dutifully keeps site’s bird feeders filled and brochure racks stocked. Caryn assists with a variety of projects in support of thesite’s educational programs and special events including WinterFest, World Migratory Bird Days, International Bog Day and Ghost Stories. In 2015, Caryn joined the Friend of Volo Bog Board of Directors. She currently serves as the membership chairperson and corresponding secretary for this 501(c)(3) organization, and coordinates the Friends’ annual college scholar- ship program. Caryn contributed 237 hours in 2019.

Volunteer-of-the-Year plaques were presented to McAndrews and Domski by IDNR’s Temporary Site Superintendent Jacob Shurpit, Site Assistant Superintendent John Laskowski, and Natural Resources Coordinator Stacy Iwanicki. Each also received a Centurian Award plaque which is presented to all volunteers contributing over 100 hours in a given year. 

This event is open to paid members and active volunteers.  Membership is not required to volunteer and volunteering is not required to be a member. Interested? Click on the "Join/Donate" button for more information. 

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