The North Country National Scenic Trail exists only because of the incredible community that supports it. Each spring, NCTA’s Awards Committee takes nominations for a series of Volunteer Awards that celebrate the efforts of the extraordinary individuals that go that extra mile to make the Trail and NCTA what it is today. Whether they build trail or partnerships, organize hikes or meetings, contribute time or money, we want to recognize our outstanding volunteers, landowners, and supporters for their contributions. Join us in celebrating the 2019 NCTA Annual Award Winners!
Boots on the Trail: A volunteer, who regularly leads hikes that are well advertised and promoted to the public (non-NCTA members) as a way of building NCTA membership and support for the Trail, over a three- or more year period.
- Donna Noteware, Finger Lakes Trail Conference (NY)
- Jim Gilkey, Buckeye Trail Association (OH)
- Zach Johns, Arrowhead Chapter (MN)
Outreach Award: A volunteer, whose efforts to build coalitions, partnerships or other forms of local support have contributed significantly to the ongoing success of the North Country Trail.
- Debra Nero, Finger Lakes Trail Conference (NY)
- Tom Dahle, Sheyenne River Valley Chapter (ND)
- Sam Bonifas, Great Trail-Sandy Beaver Canal Chapter (OH)
Sweep Award: A volunteer, for tireless work and achievements behind the scenes of behalf of the Trail or the NCTA over a three- or more year period.
- JoEllen Sokoloski, Wampum Chapter (PA)
- Robert Stein, Dakota Prairie Chapter (ND)
- Vickie Swank, Chequamegon Chapter (WI)
Communicator of the Year: A volunteer, for exemplary work in promoting the Trail or the NCTA through a communications medium (newsletter, website, brochure, etc.) or personal contacts over a three- or more year period.
- Matthew Edmonds, Buckeye Trail Association (OH)
- Robert Haack, Jordan Valley 45° Chapter (MI)
- Tracy Hager, Wampum Chapter (PA)
Rising Star Award: An NCTA member between the ages of eight and 25 who has made significant contributions to the Trail and seems likely to continue, and whose dedication to the Trail and the NCTA sets an example to other youths and shows exceptional promise.
- Hannah Mowry, Wampum Chapter (PA)
- Linus Branigan, Jordan Valley 45° Chapter (MI)
- Nick Perrounteau and Jackson Johns, Superior Hiking Trail (MN)
Trail Builder of the Year: A volunteer, whose work in Trail planning, landowner negotiations, layout and design, and/or construction, have resulted in the development of outstanding new trail or facilities over a three- or more year period.
- Matt Williams, Wampum Chapter (PA)
- Michael Schlicht, Finger Lakes Trail Conference (NY)
- Jim Bradley, Western Michigan Chapter
Trail Maintainer of the Year: A volunteer, who has demonstrated exceptional dedication or achievements over a three- or more year period in maintaining or restoring pre-existing Trail segment(s).
- Jim and Norma Matteson, North Country Trail Hikers Chapter (UP MI)
- Scott Sellers, Central New York Chapter
- Steve Hicks, Chief Noonday Chapter (MI)
Friend of the Trail: An employee of a unit of government or an organization whose leadership, accommodation and active collaboration have substantially benefited the North Country Trail.
- Michigan Department of Natural Resources
- Colleen Lynema, Western Michigan Chapter
- Jane Anklam, Landmark Conservancy (WI)
Vanguard Award: A legislator or other public official whose leadership, actions and advocacy have substantially benefitted the North Country Trail over a chapter/affiliate/partner’s area or larger, not just a short segment.
- Dakota Hewlett, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
- Will Mitchell
Blue Blaze Benefactor: An individual or household demonstrating vision and generosity through significant monetary or in-kind contributions to the Trail or the NCTA.
- Roger and Whitney Bagnall, Finger Lakes Trail Conference (NY)
Trailblazer Award: A business or foundation for far-sighted vision and support, demonstrated by significant contribution(s) to the NCT or the NCTA.
- No nominees this year
Outstanding Private Landowner: A private landowner whose leadership, accommodation and active collaboration have substantially benefited the North Country Trail.
- Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center, Tara East, Director (MI)
- Mines and Meadows ATV Resort Park, Wampum Chapter (PA)
Leadership Award: A volunteer, who has demonstrated exceptional leadership over a three- or more year period leading to significant local achievements or highly successful events.
- Andy Mytys, Western Michigan Chapter
- Cal and Jean Lamoreaux, Chief Noonday Chapter (MI)
- Mary Campbell, Jordan Valley 45° Chapter (MI)
Distinguished Service: An individual, in recognition of exceptional volunteer service in furthering the goals of the NCTA, and outstanding contributions toward the dream of the North Country Trail. Individual should have made a significant commitment and accomplishments over eight or more years.
- Eileen Fairbrother, Central New York Chapter
- Dennis Garrett, Wampum Chapter (PA)
- Ed Bowen, Superior Shoreline Chapter (UP MI)
Tom Gilbert Lifetime Achievement Award: An individual, in recognition of 15 years or more of true dedication, exceptional service and outstanding contributions towards the dream of the North Country Trail or the success and growth of the NCTA, not just local service. Service may be performed in a voluntary or paid capacity.
- David Brewer, Wampum Chapter (PA)
- Peter Nordgren, Brule-St. Croix Chapter (WI)
- Stan and Kay Kujawa, Hiawatha Shore-to-Shore Chapter (UP MI)
Congratulations to all and a huge ‘thank you’ for your commitment!