Refuge Volunteer of the Year Selected

From Mary Stefanski

I am so pleased to announce that Lori Packer has been selected as the Refuge Volunteer of the Year! Those who know Lori understand how much she loves nature and enjoys being outdoors. You may have seen her shoveling snow last winter at the local boat landings or staining wood at the Verchota Landing this fall. She’s also helped out with buckthorn removal and tree planting. Unfortunately, we can’t celebrate this the old fashioned way at a get-together but if you see Lori around Winona, please give her a congratulations!

And THANK YOU to everyone who volunteered last year! Let’s hope for more opportunities to get together in 2022 and complete some projects.

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Recognizes Volunteers

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge (Refuge) Winona offices recently recognized Lori Packer of Winona, MN as the 2021 Volunteer of the Year. Lori volunteered her time to shovel snow from walkways and kiosk areas at Refuge boat landings last winter. This fall, she spent nearly two-weeks and used eight gallons of stain refreshing all the wood structures at the Verchota Boat Landing. The landing looks new again!

Unfortunately, volunteer opportunities were limited on the refuge during 2021 due to the pandemic but nearly 40 volunteers were able to contribute over 400 hours of service representing nearly $12,000 to the Refuge. Volunteer activities included assisting with Refuge biological surveys, planting trees, maintenance activities, and invasive species monitoring and control.

The volunteer program is an excellent way to gain experience, help wildlife, meet interesting people and is open to all ages and abilities. If you would like to enjoy a productive and rewarding experience as a Refuge Volunteer, please call 507-454-7351.