Johnson honored for refuge volunteer work

Su Johnson of Big Lake has been named Volunteer of the Year for Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge.

Johnson was recognized for donating more than 1,000 hours of volunteer service to the refuge since 2004. The refuge is located near Zimmerman.

Refuge Manager xxx presented Su Johnson with a framed print. Submitted photo
Refuge Manager Steve Karel presented Su Johnson with a framed print. Photo by Ken Brennen

Johnson assists with wild turkey and sandhill crane surveys, and monitors a bald eagle nest for the refuge biologist. She assisted with creation and building an eagle educational display on the Prairie’s Edge Wildlife Drive. She has also been a member of the native plant seed collection, and environmental education teams, working with school children and other groups that visit the refuge. Johnson is also a wildlife photographer, who donates use of her images for displays, website and greeting cards sold in the nature store at refuge headquarters.

In addition to being a refuge volunteer, Johnson, along with her husband, Brad, are on the Board of Directors for the Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge.  Su holds the office of secretary and has also maintained membership rosters for the group.

The Johnsons attend Big Lake Chamber of Commerce, and other civic group meetings on behalf of the Friends, as well as staff information booths at public outreach events.

The refuge awarded Su with a framed snow goose print by Gary Moss.

Other volunteers receiving awards included:

•Bob Trunk, Princeton and Lisa Nelson, Big Lake, for 2,000 hours of service

•Sue Hix, Princeton, for 1,500 hours of service

•Bruno Gad, Clear Lake, for 20 years of service

•Kathy May, Princeton, and Jacob Nelson, Big Lake, for 10 years of service

A total of 722 volunteers gave 8,402 hours of service during the past year.  This number includes 275 individuals who are regular volunteers, as well as 447 members of local scout troops, families, school classes, 4-H clubs and conservation groups.

The refuge offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities including adopt-a-trail or adopt-a-road programs,  roving wildlife interpreters for the wildlife drive, native plant seed collecting, wildflower gardening, invasive plant removal and assisting with environmental education and special events.

For more information, call 763-389-3323 or email [email protected]