The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Winona offices recently recognized Lori Packer, of Winona, 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.