North Country Trail Association

Volunteer Awards

The NCTA honors volunteers for their hard work on and for the North Country Trail.

The awards ceremony is held each year during the annual NCTA Celebration. Those who receive these awards have given exceptional service, often many years’ worth, to the North Country Trail and the North Country Trail Association. There are diverse award categories to represent the myriad of efforts put forth for the Trail.

Nominations for 2021 awards have closed as of May 1.

 

NCTA Award Categories

View past recipients

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. A nominee would typically lead more than one hike per year, and make them interesting by sharing their knowledge with groups or being helpful to new hikers, or organize and lead a whole series of hikes like cross-county or even cross-state events, over a three-year period or more.
Vanguard
A legislator or other public official whose leadership, actions and advocacy have substantially benefited the North Country Trail over a Chapter/Affiliate/Partner’s area or larger, not just a short segment.
Trailblazer
A business or foundation for far-sighted vision and support, demonstrated by significant contributions to the Trail or the NCTA.
Thomas L. Gilbert Lifetime Achievement
An individual, in recognition of 15+ years of true dedication, exceptional service and outstanding contributions toward 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.
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 years or more. Not more than one of these awards may be granted each year to an individual who is not a member of the NCTA or an Affiliate.
Trail Builder
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-year period or more.
Trail Maintainer
A volunteer who has demonstrated exceptional dedication or achievements over a three-year period or more in maintaining or restoring preexisting Trail segment(s).
Leadership
A volunteer who has demonstrated exceptional leadership over a three-year period or more leading to significant local achievements or highly successful events.
Outreach
A volunteer whose efforts to build coalitions, partnerships or other forms of local support have contributed significantly to the ongoing success of the Trail.
Communicator
A volunteer, for exemplary work in promoting the Trail or the NCTA through a communications medium (newsletter, web site, brochure, etc.) or personal contacts over a three-year period or more.
Rising Star
An NCTA member between the ages of 8 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.
Sweep
A volunteer, for tireless work and achievements behind the scenes on behalf of the Trail or the NCTA over a three-year period or more.
Friend of the Trail
An employee of a unit of governance or organization whose leadership, accommodations and active collaboration have substantially benefited the North Country Trail or the NCTA, not working solely in the capacity of an NCTA member.
Outstanding Private Landowner
A private landowner whose leadership, accommodation and active collaboration have substantially benefited the North Country Trail.
Blue Blazes Benefactor
An individual or household demonstrating vision and generosity through significant monetary or in-kind contribution(s) to the North Country Trail or the NCTA.
Trail Protector
A volunteer working to protect the Trail by gaining permission to build Trail, and additionally, gaining easements to protect our Trail, over a three-year period or more.

Download a PDF of the NCTA Volunteer Award categories

 

NCTA Honor Awards

NCTA Chapter, Affiliate, and Partner (CAP) leaders can also select local volunteers to receive an Honor Award. This award is different in that there is no nomination: The award is guaranteed. Each Chapter, Affiliate, and Partner can select one volunteer (or two in the situation of spouses or partners who are equally fantastic volunteers). The criteria is as follows:

“Chapter or Affiliate volunteers who demonstrate loyalty, commitment, and hard work annually to the local organization’s chosen activities.”

Submit choices by October 15, 2021 to Larry Pio (nalcoman1@aol.com) and copy NCTA Events Coordinator Abby Whittington (awhittington@northcountrytrail.org).

View past recipients

 

National Park Service Awards

In 1970, Congress passed the Volunteers-In-Parks Act to allow national parks to use “volunteers for or in aid of interpretive functions, or visitor services or activities.” Since then, volunteers have supported National Park units in many aspects, such as natural and cultural resources, interpretation and maintenance. In turn, volunteers have been able to give back to communities in some of the most visually captivating, historically rich, and ecologically vital locations our nation has to offer. Volunteers with the North Country National Scenic Trail are included as part of that National Park legacy. Thanks to all the North Country Trail volunteers for your hard work and dedication throughout the years!

View past recipients

 

Header photo by Dove Day