From docents to youth coaches, a variety of volunteers were honored during a Department of Recreation and Parks awards ceremony in the Blue Heron Center at Quiet Waters Park on January 23. Nominations were accepted year-round.
Organization of the Year awards went to Pasadena Soccer Club and the Friends of Kinder Farm Park.
Established as a nonprofit in 1999, the Friends of Kinder Farm Park supports the Millersville site by fundraising, constructing small structures, and with special events like the Fall Harvest Festival, Jingle Bell Hayride and Meet the Kids Day.
Visitors young and old especially like meeting the goats, pigs, sheep and alpacas that are fed as part of the Friends’ livestock program. “It's a place where kids can learn about the farm history without it being overwhelming,” said Friends of Kinder Farm Park president Carrie Fielder, who has held that role for the last three years. Fiedler has also served as treasurer during her 10-plus years with the nonprofit.
Along with her fellow volunteers, Fielder was “thrilled to death” to be honored by the Department of Recreation and Parks. She also praised the historical society for helping to fund and supervise the renovation of the 1925 Depression era farmhouse on the property.
“The farmhouse was the original home of the Kinders, so the historical society refurbished and re-established it,” she said. “Before, it was a park office and it wasn’t in great condition. Now people can come to the museum and see things that would have been part of a home in the 1930s.”
Those things are not just artifacts but also farm equipment and tractors displayed as part of the ongoing historical interpretation of Anne Arundel County's rich farm heritage.
Outside of the Greater Severna Park area, several volunteers took home Ron Blake Outstanding Volunteer Awards, which are named in honor of a former Recreation Advisory Board member and community volunteer. Those honorees included Dave Farley of Havenwood Community Girls Softball, Jim and Susan Morrison of the Friends of Hancock’s Resolution, Pumphrey Community Center volunteers Geraldine Bates and Jacquelyn Langford-Winchester, Friends of Jug Bay treasurer Jim Harle and Quiet Waters Park volunteer Gary Scaggs.
Aidan Rand was named Youth of the Year for his efforts with the Youth Summer Serve program at Mayo Beach Day Camp. Earning the Director’s Commitment to Excellence Award, which is akin to a lifetime service award, was Albert “Al” Tucker, who for 33 years has supported the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary.