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Fran Mattson, left, accepts the Volunteer of the Year award from the 2010 volunteer of the year, Vonnie Jacobson.

Mattson receives award

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News Detroit Lakes,Minnesota 56501 http://www.dl-online.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/5/0304/9-4-volunteer-cmyk.jpg?itok=KDv0AudL
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Mattson receives award
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Fran Mattson of Ogema received Tamarac's Volunteer of the Year Award at the refuge's annual volunteer recognition picnic held on Aug. 18.

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Over 70 volunteers, staff, friends and family attended the event. Mattson of Ogema began volunteering in 2007 as a visitor center host. She soon became part of the environmental education teaching team. She has led weather observation activities for third graders, read wildlife stories to kindergarteners, has led snowshoe walks, and has assisted middle school students in counting invasive worms.

During 2011, she contributed over 80 hours to the Environmental Education program. She is an inspiration to hundreds of children as she shares her enthusiasm for the wonders of nature. She is truly building a legacy of new conservationists for wildlife refuges.

Mattson also serves on the board and several committees of the Friends of Tamarac, a non-profit organization which supports the refuge and its mission of wildlife conservation.

Awards were also presented to those volunteers who had reached key milestones. Linda Hunt of Detroit Lakes received the Assistant Regional Director's Award for surpassing the 500 hour mark. Tom Hunt of Detroit Lakes and George Read of Ogema were presented the Regional Director's Award for surpassing the 1000 hour mark.

In 2011, 169 volunteers contributed nearly 7000 hours to the refuge. Volunteers may work at the visitor center, conduct wildlife surveys, perform maintenance duties, present educational programs, plan events and more.

With more than 44,000 volunteers contributing in excess of 1.5 million hours of their time, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service volunteer program continues to grow. Volunteers complete more than 20 percent of the work conducted annually on national wildlife refuges alone.

For more information on how you can join the team, contact Janice Bengtson at 218-847-2647.

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