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Our Volunteers

 

Each year, Friends of Edgewood Natural Preserve honors a Best Friend of Edgewood. This honor recognizes those individuals who make significant contributions during the calendar year to the protection, preservation, restoration, and enjoyment of the park. Best Friends also help celebrate Edgewood as a unique treasure by promoting exemplary stewardship, and by reaching out to the public with informative programs.

There is always plenty to be done and we are always looking for volunteers. If you would like to contribute some of your time, energy and creativity to Edgewood Park, here are some ways in which you can get involved.

Year Best Friend Contributions
1994 No award
1995 Nathan Graham Constructed a habitat railing above the revegetation area as his Eagle Scout project. An article about this project was originally published in the Edgewood Explorer August 1995 edition (pdf).
Elly Hess Leading the weeding project. If you type Elly Hess into the google search box, Elly’s name comes up in numerous Edgewood Explorer articles. The articles that best summarize her contributions to Edgewood are in the June, 2001 (pdf) and December 2015 (pdf) editions.
1996 Ken Himes Quiet leadership, unflagging efforts and countless hours in the battle to prevent star thistle and other exotics from spoiling the habitats necessary to preserve Edgewood’s precious native plants. An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer
March 1997 edition (pdf).
Nita Spangler Devotion to the preservation of Edgewood through her tireless efforts in researching Edgewood’s colorful history, and her public support for the adoption of a new master plan. An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer
March 1997 edition (pdf).
1997 Carolyn Curtis Passionate leadership and many achievements in six years of hard work and dedication to the Friends and to the Preserve. An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 1997 edition (pdf).
1998 Dianne Hunt Enthusiastic leadership, creativity, and tireless efforts coordinating the docent-led wildflower walks and training new docents during the 1997-1998 season. An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 1998 edition (pdf).
Carol Hankermeyer Innovation, perseverance, and patience in conceiving, developing, and conducting the first Friends of Edgewood community outreach program for local school children. An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 1998 edition (pdf). An interesting article on one of Carol’s Junior Explorers field trips at Edgewood can be found in the Edgewood Explorer December 1999 edition.
1999 Nancy Mangini For her initiative and leadership in forming the Edgewood Volunteer Trail Patrol and nurturing it from its
inception in 1995 to its current state as a successful program of over two dozen active members, informing and assisting park visitors in appropriate ways to experience Edgewood. An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 1999 edition (pdf).
2000 Lynne Fritz
  • For her skills in facilitating volunteerism and her ability to support diverse interests;
  • For her early and continuous commitment to the success of the Friends of Edgewood in reaching their goals;
  • For her many actions and decisions consistently driven by her values of collaboration and dialogue — experienced via her integrity and passion; and
  • For her willingness to be open, honest, accessible and uniquely, wonderfully Lynne — a true friend to countless citizens, volunteers and employees in San Mateo County.

An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2000 edition (pdf).

2001 Roger Myers
  • For his precedent-setting adoption of a threatened habitat (the “bush mallow site”) in 1999 and dedicated effort in personally removing 66,561 noxious plants in 3 years, effectively restoring it to a native habitat;
  • For his enthusiastic participation in Friends activities such as training docents in the reptiles, amphibians, and geology of Edgewood, leading docent walks, and supporting the Friends’ Adopt-A-Highway and general weeding efforts; and
  • For his grace, gentleness, generosity, and kindness that taught us to lobby for the critters and be stewards of the land.

Articles about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer June 2001 and December 2001 editions.

2002 John Allen
  • For his leadership in the original coalition that led to the designation of Edgewood Park as a Natural Preserve, saving it in perpetuity from development;
  • For his unfailing efforts to help control Edgewood’s weeds, including pulling, whacking, monitoring, mapping, counting, bagging, and generally epitomizing what it means to be a weed warrior;
  • For his unassuming but dedicated service to the Friends of Edgewood since its founding in 1993, as President, Treasurer, Docent Coordinator, Board Member, and all-around volunteer for whatever needs doing.

An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2002 edition (pdf).

2003 Toni Corelli
  • For her tireless and thorough scientific research into the botany of Edgewood, leading to many fine publications on the subject, and culminating in her remarkable book Flowering Plants of Edgewood Natural Preserve;
  • For her innumerable quality contributions to the Docent Program, including class training, field trips, and enrichment sessions;
  • For thoughtfully and gently teaching us the secrets of Edgewood’s ecology, and reminding us to keep it safe;
  • For her dedication to preserving Edgewood.

An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2003 edition (pdf).

2004 Bill Korbholz
  • For his leadership, technical contributions and dedication in bringing the Edgewood Geographic Information System (EGIS), an all-volunteer mapping project that began in late 2002, to the Preserve. This innovative marriage of high technology and human interaction in the Edgewood habitat has produced a resource mapping system that is directly enhancing the ability of Edgewood’s many stakeholders to manage Edgewood’s resources effectively.
  • For his relentless, selfless, and often behind-the-scenes investment of time and care in the Friends organization and the Preserve, from the very beginning of the effort to save Edgewood to the current moment as President of the Board of Directions of the San Mateo County Parks Foundation – and all the hard work he has done in the decade in between;
  • For his passionate, caring role as the animated and lovable glue that holds us all together.
  • An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2004 edition (pdf).

2005 Bob Young
  • For his quiet, steadfast support and myriad contributions since the original coalition that led to the designation of Edgewood Park as a Natural Preserve, saving it in perpetuity from development;
  • For his unfailing efforts since 1989 to help protect Edgewood’s natural resources, including volunteering
    every Friday and many special days for weeding, and now as the sole steward of the demonstration garden;
  • For his excellence as a continuing docent since the first days of the program, always available when asked, sharing his intimate knowledge of Edgewood through his easy teaching manner;
  • For his service on the Executive Committee since its inception in 1993 and for holding several positions including Treasurer and Membership chairman;
  • And for his highly regarded series of articles published in the Explorer called “A Closer Look” that features an in-depth view of twenty of the most commonly seen flowers.

An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2005 edition (pdf).

2006 Craig Cummings
  • For his creative contributions toward the design of the Edgewood photos websites as a charter member of the Digital Docents,
  • For volunteering over 300 hours toward the photos project, documenting over 7000 plant locations representing 421 different plant species,
  • For developing a really slick automated mechanism for recording plant location coordinates,
  • For his initiative, dedication, and responsibility for locating every last trail-side plant at Edgewood and filling in the holes in the plant location database,
  • For being a great advocate and supporter of the photos web system and of Friends of Edgewood in general.

An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2006 edition (pdf).

2007 Stuart Weiss
  • For recognizing and acting on the plight of the dwindling population of Bay checkerspot butterflies at Edgewood;
  • For discovering how ammonia from the car catalytic converters on adjacent I-280 had fertilized the nutrient-poor serpentine soil allowing non-native Italian ryegrass to crowd out native plants, including critical caterpillar food such as California plantain;
  • For developing the research strategy that led to testing of various restoration techniques on site, which concluded that mowing, at a specific time in the life cycles of the various plants, proved effective, and ultimately restored the habitat;
  • For his dedication in securing a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant for Edgewood allowing the relocation of 1,000 caterpillars and 12 live butterflies to Edgewood from a healthy population at Coyote Ridge in south San Jose;
  • For his lead role in the April 2007 "Return of the Butterfly" event in the grasslands of Edgewood, which garnered regional and state attention as a prime example of reversing inadvertent human impacts on threatened species;
  • And for bringing Edward I of Edgewood into our lives, demonstrating his caring, passion, expertise, and effectiveness in this transformational milestone in Edgewood.

An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2007 edition (pdf).

2008 Alf Fengler
  • For his unqualified dedication to removing weeds and preserving the habitats at Edgewood;
  • For assuming the role of unofficial photojournalist, sharing his beautiful plant photographs for all to see on the Edgewood Photos website, and for his valuable advice on ways to improve it;
  • For probing the mysteries of Edgewood’s nature with his intriguing email photo quizzes that educate, entertain, and challenge our docents;
  • And for his spirit of enthusiasm that permeates his presence, subtly enticing Friends into the field to enjoy the roaming privileges of weeders, and take an active role in Edgewood’s stewardship.

An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2008 edition (pdf).

2009 Drew Shell
  • For promoting and helping to organize the weeding program in several ways, which include: creating the weeders’ web site, procuring trailside sandwich board signage, designing clever notices for the kiosks, pressing to get special Saturday weeding sessions back on track, and seeing that some of them coincide with docent walks;
  • For not only having a weed that he especially loves to hate (as most weed warriors do) but loving to hate Harding grass so much that he’s made eradicating it a personal project he performs with surgical patience and precision;
  • For providing Wednesday Weeders with leadership as well as more consistent, pre-planned “botany moments”;
  • For instigating autumn planning and strategy meetings, as well as conceiving two purely social occasions that have become tradition and foster camaraderie among not just Wednesday Weeders, but Friday Weeders, too;
  • For employing philanthropic leverage by having his employer monetarily match the many hours he donates to Edgewood, and by creating a financial triple-play for the Education Center campaign with a challenge grant among the weeders, which he, and then his employer, matched;
  • For the focus, initiative, thoroughness and dedication to Edgewood that have driven him to make these and other major contributions on numerous fronts.

An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2009 edition (pdf).

2010

John Morse

  • For the major contribution he made this past year to bring on-line a totally new membership and donor database;
  • For taking the new system from concept to operation almost single-handedly;
  • For his perseverance in capturing our historical data, debugging, and verifying all functions;
  • And for acting as our interim membership coordinator, using the improved database capabilities to provide more detailed membership reports to ExComm to help us understand and expand our membership.

An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2010 edition (pdf).

Julia Bott
  • For leading the Bill and Jean Lane Education Center project from concept through design, construction, and of course, fundraising;
  • For her unbounded enthusiasm and tenacity that inspire all of us to never, ever give up on our dreams;
  • For having just the right mix of instinct, insight, and expertise to enable us to achieve great things;
  • For her resourcefulness, creativity, and uncanny ability to overcome just about any obstacle;
  • For balancing her uncompromising drive for excellence with an inclusive, respectful, consensus-oriented approach in everything she does;
  • In short, for applying all these skills to make the Education Center a reality.

An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2010 edition (pdf).

2011 Laurie Alexander
  • For her service to Friends of Edgewood as a Wildflower Walks docent, Junior Explorer docent, member of the Kiosk Committee, Board Member, and Vice-President;
  • And, as if that weren’t enough, for coordinating the operations of the Bill and Jean Lane Education Center in its inaugural year, which entailed:
    • Transforming a building into an attractive educational and interpretive resource for the community,
    • Gently but effectively recruiting, organizing, and managing volunteers to staff the Ed Center,
    • Developing an exemplary operating model that will serve for years to come,
    • And, magically bringing the Ed Center to life for all to enjoy.

An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2011 edition (pdf).

2012 Kathy Korbholz
  • For her devoted service to Friends of Edgewood since 1994. Kathy has led, coordinated, consulted on, gently nudged, and otherwise assisted in just about every activity that we have undertaken since our founding in 1993. In fact, she is known as the one person we can always turn to when something needs to get done. President, Board Member, docent, Ed Center hostess, strategic planner, newsletter editor, weeder, fundraiser, photographer, highway trash cleaner, T-shirt designer, activity planner — you name it and she has done it, and always with her special grace, compassion and warmth that lighten our tasks.
  • And often without recognition. Today we recognize and thank her for her 18 years of dedication to Friends of Edgewood.
  • An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2012 edition (pdf).

2013 Mary Wilson

For her remarkable record of volunteer service since 2005. Mary graduated from the 2005 docent class, and since then has done just about everything, from staffing booths at special events to serving as President. Since 2006 she has been a member of the Board of Directors, serving in addition as Secretary, Membership Coordinator, and on various ad hoc committees along the way. She is in her eighth year as Docent Training Coordinator. She has been an Education Center host since the Center opened and last year she took over responsibility for leading the Bloomin’ Walks, recruiting her husband Dennis to join her. She has been a checkerspotter for several seasons and this year she signed up to monitor bluebird boxes. With deep appreciation for her dedication and generosity, this year’s Best Friend of Edgewood is Mary Wilson.

An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2013 edition (pdf).

2014 Frances Morse

For over 10 years of volunteer service to the Friends of Edgewood and the community. Frances graduated from the 2003 docent class, and since then has been involved in a wide array of projects, such as volunteering as a Junior Explorers docent and Ed Center host, in addition to leading wildflower walks; visiting and stocking the park kiosks with FoE materials in her role as Kiosk Kween; co-organizing the Bluebird Summer program in 2012; organizing our 20th birthday celebration in 2013; formalizing, organizing, and leading our Bluebird Monitoring program; and co-authoring, directing, and producing our general meeting skits last year and this year. With deep appreciation for her dedication and generosity, this year’s Best Friend of Edgewood is Frances Morse.

An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2014 edition (pdf).

2015 Dorothy Young
  • For working behind the scenes doing essential tasks in support of Friends of Edgewood every week, every month, and every year.
  • Dorothy has served as our “mail center” since 2010, folding, stamping, and mailing our newsletters, membership letters and membership premiums. She does this with a passion for excellence and accuracy.
  • In 2011 when the Ed Center opened, she and her husband Bob volunteered to keep the Ed Center in tip-top shape, and they have acted as our weekly Building Stewards ever since.
  • Dorothy performs these tasks professionally, independently, promptly, thoroughly, and reliably. She makes Friends of Edgewood look good by presenting our very best face to the public and our members.

An article about this award appeared in the Edgewood Explorer December 2015 edition (pdf).