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Volunteer of the Year Awards

Volunteer Appreciation Event

On Thursday, September 28, we gathered to thank all our volunteers for their time and dedication to Asbury Woods. This past year, we had 285 volunteers spend 7,747 hours of their time caring for the woods and sustaining our educational programs. Asbury Woods thrives because of all our wonderful volunteers who help us each day to achieve our mission. Thank you!

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Volunteer Awards ADULT Blog

Adult Volunteer of the Year: Cindy Gathers

Cindy grew up in Millcreek not too far from Asbury Woods and always loved walking the trails, so when she retired and was looking for a place to volunteer, Asbury seemed like the perfect fit! Since 2016 Cindy has given over 741 hours (and counting!) of her time helping us in visitor services, with maple production, during festivals as an exhibit greeter, and with Monday Music concerts. She is always willing to fill in when we put out a call! Cindy states that she, “Loves the variety of volunteer opportunities to choose from, the people I get to meet and talk with, the love of nature that is shared with others and, of course, feeding the fire in the sugar shack in winter!” Congratulations and thank you to Cindy Gathers, 2023 Adult Volunteer of the Year!

Volunteer Awards YOUTH Blog

Youth Volunteers of the Year: Alaina and Lilly Nichols

Identical twins Alaina and Lilly Nichols have been volunteering at Asbury Woods since 2020. With a combined total of 524 hours, this dynamic duo first devoted their time as Animal Care assistants and more recently as assistants with our Summer Camps! The first memory they have of Asbury Woods is visiting during elementary school field trips. “We always looked forward to learning from Mr. Steve (Wasiesky), hiking in the woods and seeing the animals in the Nature Center.” Now they love helping with our summer camps, getting to see the campers learn about the outdoors, and getting to teach them about the animals in the Nature Center. Congratulations Alaina and Lilly on being named our Youth Volunteers of the Year! We love having the younger generation come full circle and give back as you two have. Thank you for all your time and energy, and we hope you will keep it going!

Volunteer Awards GROUP Blog

Group Volunteer of the Year: Erie Homes for Children and Adults (EHCA)

Erie Homes for Children and Adults (EHCA) has been sending volunteers every week this year to help with indoor and outdoor maintenance, compiling a lifetime total of 186 hours.

“The EHCA Move Program has been a long-time volunteer at Asbury Woods. We value going there, enjoying nature, and having connections. All the participants say that they appreciate being involved in the community and helping at a place that they love to visit!” said Cindy Olson, Program Specialist for EHCA.

We admire their commitment to Asbury Woods, their hard work in the surrounding gardens, cleaning of the facilities and wanting to make this a better place for the community to enjoy. Congratulations to EHCA for being the Group Volunteers of the Year!