Ramsey Washington Watershed District receives the 2011 Public Service Award
The award is given to elected or appointed officials who have done an outstanding job of promoting and supporting parks and trails and protecting the environment.
The Watershed District works to protect and improving water quality in Ramsey County and its parks. One almost decade long project of plantings on the majority of Lake Phalen’s shoreline is designed to improve water quality in one of St. Paul’s largest parks. Many other District projects also affect our parks and trails and improve water quality. Please support this important public organization in its mission to improve water quality.
Rich Straumann Volunteer of the Year 2011
Rich is an engaged advocate for parks, recreation and trails. He has been a member of the Ramsey County Parks and Recreation Commission since 2003. He served as Chair of the Commission from 2005-2010 and currently provides leadership as Vice Chair. He has walked or bicycled virtually every corner of the Ramsey County Parks and Recreation system. He also represented the Commission in presentations of State of the Parks Reports to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners.
Rich was nominated by Greg Mack, Director of the Ramsey County Parks and Recreation, and Michelle Olson, Parks and Trails Manager for the City of Arden Hills and Connie Bernardy of Active Living Ramsey Communities. Rich has volunteered for parks in Arden Hills and has worked to promote and create environments that are safe and convenient for everyone to integrate physical activity into their daily routines. He has worked to help create more active, bikeable and walkable communities. As a result of his work, communities are being connected, not divided, and Ramsey County residents and visitors are enjoying safer places to bike and walk.
George was nominated as outstanding volunteer by Kate McNulty, Volunteer Coordinator for Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.
George, a Como volunteer since 2000, has contributed his time and talent in many ways at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, primarily as a special event volunteer. He has put in many hours volunteering throughout the years for a number of annual special events hosted by both the City of Saint Park and Como Friends, the City’s nonprofit partner.
Anyone attending a Holiday Magic, Zoo Boo or Japanese Lantern Lighting event any time in the past twelve years have evidenced the work George has done with outdoor lighting. He has shared his electrical expertise to ensure safe and effective illumination of Como evening events.
Unfortunately, George and his wife Barbara, are moving away from Minnesota to the warmer climes of Arizona. His talents will be missed but no more than his generous spirit and stewardship.
Volunteer Gretchen Estes
Gretchen has been a devoted volunteer for over 15 years and contributed over 2,900 hours of her time and talent in many ways at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. She was nominated by Kate NcNulty, Volunteer Coordinator for the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory for her outstanding time and talent given in many ways to the Zoo and Conservatory.
Over the years she has served as a public educator at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, a sales assistant in the conservatory gift shop, a special events assistant for the Music Under Glass and World Under Glass music series and was one of the first to support the Victorian Teas in the conservatory when they began in the mid 90’s. In 2005, when Como established volunteer donation stations for visitors Gretchen was one of the first Visitor Greet volunteers.
Gretchen exemplifies one of Como’s primary goals in creating a warm and welcoming environment for visitors – for hours eery month she is there smiling and greeting all as they enter the Park. Gretchen was 90 years old the week of the annual meeting when she received this award, and she reigns as Como Park’s most elder volunteer.