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posted: 1/8/2014 1:42 PM

Illinois Department of Natural Resources laud local volunteers

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  • Moraine Hills State Park and McHenry Dam Volunteer of the Year Steve Domski

      Moraine Hills State Park and McHenry Dam Volunteer of the Year Steve Domski
    Courtesy of Bob Vetter

  • Volo Bog State Natural Area Volunteer of the Year Marilyn Huster.

      Volo Bog State Natural Area Volunteer of the Year Marilyn Huster.
    Courtesy of Bob Vetter

By Stacy Iwanicki
Natural Resources (Education) Coordinator, Illinois Department of Natural Resources

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources staff recently honored 121 volunteers who donated their services to Volo Bog State Natural Area, Moraine Hills State Park and McHenry Dam in 2013. Together they contributed 6,019 hours to these IDNR sites.

Two individuals earned special recognition at their respective sites.

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Marilyn Huster of Libertyville was named Volunteer of the Year for Volo Bog State Natural Area. The bulk of her 173 hours were split between docenting/interpretive office support and youth programs. Among the youth programs Huster conducts are Bog Life, Animal Homes, Small Wonders of Wetlands and Batty about Bats.

She also has led bog tours for adult groups, organized craft activities at WinterFest and helped with other events. She began volunteering at Volo Bog SNA in early 2012.

Steve Domski of McHenry was named Volunteer of the Year for Moraine Hills State Park and McHenry Dam. Domski began volunteering in early 2011. He tends a prairie garden, assists with habitat projects and serves as a docent in the nature center most months.

In 2012, he joined the board of directors of Friends of Moraine Hills State Park. He has been a regular contributor to the Friends' newsletter, including articles about the history of the park and the surrounding area.

Recently, Domski has taken on coordination of the site's bird feeding stations. He contributed 163 hours in 2013. He also volunteers at Volo Bog State Natural Area, where he is active with the Volunteer Veterans Conservation Corps.

Volunteer-of-the-Year plaques were presented to Domski and Huster (who was unable to attend) by Site Superintendent Greg Kelly and Natural Resources Coordinator Stacy Iwanicki. Each also received a certificate of appreciation and a Centurian Award Plaque, which is presented to all volunteers contributing more than 100 hours in a given year.

Also receiving Centurian Award Plaques for contributing more than 100 hours each in 2013: Dave Albright of Crystal Lake; Nancy Bodinet of Lake Zurich; Claudia Chrusciel of Island Lake; Julia and Nina Denne of Arlington Heights; Jerry Donahue of Mundelein; Judi Downey of Round Lake Beach; Bill Ewert and Barb Gosh of Ingleside; John Fairgrieve of Hawthorn Woods; Melanie Guziec, intern, of Volo; John Holmes and Merry Miller of Lake Villa; Barb Schneider and Bob Vetter of Grayslake; Bonnie Sheehan and Neil Whitman of McHenry; and, Judy Wooderson of Crystal Lake

The following received certificates of appreciation for contributing 50 to 99 hours each to Volo Bog and/or Moraine Hills/McHenry Dam in 2013: Cleve and Marie Caviness of Round Lake; Mary Colwell of Libertyville; Marie Corns of McHenry; Nancy Doughty of Barrington; Anima Dubey, Ann Shanks and Karen Vetter of Grayslake; Savannah Eisenmann of Cary; Mark Ginger of Des Plaines; Mike Iwanicki of Wonder Lake; Jackie Jahnke of Fox Lake; John Katzenmayer, Esther Larson, Myrna Nelson and Christine Steffy of McHenry; Karen Lund of Genoa; Meg Macdonald of Lake Bluff; Bill and Linda Racicot of Deer Park; Jane Richards of Wauconda; Nancy and Randy Schietzelt of Crystal Lake; Steve Savocchi of Lake Zurich; Jan Wemple of Ingleside; and, Barbara Zander of Mundelein.

Twenty-five other volunteers received certificates for contributing between 25 and 49 hours each, with another 50 people offering their help on smaller (often one-time) projects.

Many volunteers from the sites are members of Friends of Volo Bog and/or Friends of Moraine Hills State Park, but membership is not required in order to volunteer for IDNR sites.

The Friends groups are each 501(c)(3) organizations that offer financial support to their respective sites. Visit them at and

Volo Bog State Natural Area is at 28478 W. Brandenburg Road in Ingleside. For information on volunteering, contact Iwanicki at (815) 3441294 or

Moraine Hills State Park and McHenry Dam sites are south of McHenry on River Road, between routes 120 and 176. For information on volunteering at Moraine Hills and McHenry Dam, use Volo Bog contact. For general information, phone Moraine Hills' park offices at (815) 3851624 or visit

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