Refuge names Sue Hix volunteer of the year

Refuge Manager Anne Sittauer (left) and Volunteer of the Year Sue Hix.

Sue Hix of Princeton has been named Volunteer of the Year for the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge near Zimmerman.
Hix was recognized for donating more than 1,000 hours of volunteer service to the refuge during the past 12 years. She also currently serves as president of the Friends of Sherburne.

The refuge awarded her with a framed wildlife print. She also received a congratulatory letter from U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, and a certificate of special congressional recognition.
Hix was recognized at a March 3 awards dinner in Big Lake.

The refuge recognized a total of 884 volunteers for 8,540 hours of service during the past year.  This number includes 265 individuals from local communities who are regular volunteers, as well as 619 members of local scout troops, families, school classes, 4-H clubs and conservation groups.  The time donated to the refuge by volunteers during the past year is equivalent to that of four full-time employees.
Other volunteers receiving distinguished awards included:
•Bruno Gad, Clear Lake, who was honored for 1,500 hours of service.
•C. Perry Schenk, Clear Lake, who was honored for 1,000 hours of service.
•Su Johnson, Big Lake, and Diane Onerheim, Monticello, were honored for 750 hours of service.
•Brad Johnson, Big Lake, was honored for 500 hours of service.
•Robert B. Janssen, Chanhassen, received a 20-year pin.
•Helen DeLong, Princeton, and Josh Nelson, Big Lake, received 10-year pins.  Josh began volunteering at the refuge when he was only 6 years old and was singled out as the youngest recipient of a 10-year pin.
The refuge offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities from adopt-a-trail and adopt-a-road programs to wildlife interpreters for the wildlife drive, native plant seed collecting, wildflower garden tending, invasive plant removal and assisting with special events.
For more information on the refuge volunteer program, or to receive a volunteer application form, call Betsy Beneke, refuge visitor services manager, at 763-389-3323 ext. 13.

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