Illinois Department of Natural Resources Honors Starved Rock Volunteers

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It’s probably appropriate. Folks from Starved Rock Country are disproportionately represented among this year’s recipients of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Awards. The award recognizes individuals and members of outdoors organizations for their volunteer service to IDNR. Of the ten winners, almost half come from here.

Alan Clarke, a retired engineer and member of the Ottawa Garden Club, helped staff the Starved Rock Visitor Center. Clarke passed away on June 16th.

Sue and Bill Komarek of Peru are longtime volunteers at Starved Rock. Each Friday from April through December, the Komareks volunteer at the visitor center. Bill works the front desk and Sue operates the Starved Rock Foundation’s gift shop.

Linda and Arnie Leder of Mendota perform a number of volunteer tasks at Starved Rock. Among other things, Arnie is a certified hike leader who directs groups on the trails and helps with school visits and special events. Linda makes costumes for the “Ghosts of Starved Rock’s Past” event.

And Sarah Walczynski of Tonica developed and created the website for the Starved Rock Foundation, training volunteers and staff how to use the site to promote visitor education and interest in the park.

This year’s honorees will be celebrated at the Illinois State Fair Saturday.

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August 21, 2021 at 05:54AM

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