Meet our Volunteers

Volunteers for the DNR

Fall 2016

person holding a fishJack-o-Lantern Night Walk: Zion Alston Oberg, New London

The Jack-o-Lantern Night Walk (also known as the Pumpkin Parade) was a new endeavor at Sibley State Park last year. Over 70 carved pumpkins and nearly 300 luminaries guided visitors along a mile long route for a festive night event before Halloween.

“Without Zion's help leading up to the event and his hard work putting the pumpkins out and lighting them, the event could have never happened,” said Kelsey Olson, Park Naturalist.

Thank you Zion!



Learn more about this year’s Jack-o-Lantern Night Walk on October 28, 2016 on the Minnesota State Parks Events Calendar.

Ben Pena Adult Learn to Hunt Whitetail Deer Program: Ben Pena, Minneapolis

According to Jay Johnson, former Division of Fish and Wildlife Recruitment and Retention Program Coordinator, “Ben Pena is the consummate hunting mentor for the adult Learn to Hunt Whitetail Deer program. He has a quiet confidence forged from a deep and authentic understanding of hunting. The skills and knowledge he brings to the class not only benefit the participants, but he also serves as mentor to the other volunteers in the program.”

The adult Learn to Hunt Whitetail Deer program is for adults ages 18 years or older who are new to hunting.

“Ben’s work as a volunteer has helped us make the program effective at recruiting new adults to hunting.  Many of the students who have participated in the program have gone on to purchase hunting licenses subsequent years. The program is recognized nationally for its innovative design and effectiveness,” said Johnson.

Thank you, Ben, for going above and beyond in every aspect of your volunteerism and for motivating others to do the same!

For more information about DNR programs for new hunters, see the hunter recruitment and retention page.

Bruce AuseVolunteer Naturalist: Bruce Ause, Wacouta

Bruce Ause provides a weekly nature walk on Saturdays from Memorial Day to the third weekend in October for visitors of Frontenac State Park.

“He's provided this service for over 13 years,” says Nadine Meyer, Park Manager. “Bruce provides interpretive programming on Frontenac’s history, landscape, and wildlife. Without Bruce's volunteer service, Frontenac State Park would not have this service.”

Thank you, Bruce!

Check the Minnesota State Parks and Trails Events Calendar for the next Interpretive Nature Walk scheduled with Bruce at Frontenac State Park.

Cassandra Olson

Walleye Harvest: Cassandra Olson, Chokio

Cassandra Olson volunteered last fall to help the Ortonville fisheries crew with walleye harvest. Ortonville Area Fisheries produces more walleyes for stocking than any other area in the state, ensuring quality angling opportunities in numerous lakes.

“Cassandra's help allowed for us to complete harvest activities on those days, and helped towards reaching statewide stocking quotas,” said Kyle Anderson, Assistant Area Fisheries Supervisor, Division of Fish & Wildlife, Ortonville.

Cassandra has now expanded her volunteering into a job working for the Bonanza Educational Center, a hands-on environmental education center located in Big Stone State Park.

Thank you for your commitment to the environment, Cassandra!