The Volunteer Task Force is a diverse group of river lovers dedicated to making a measurable difference in the health of the Gallatin River. In 2017, 156 individuals donated over 1,000 hours to monitor water quality, implement the Gallatin River Fly Fishing Festival, and build a sustainable organization.
Here, we would like to recognize a few volunteers who went above and beyond to protect the Gallatin River this year.
Most Numbers Crunched – Rick Donaldson
This year, two dedicated volunteers battled for the honor of the most hours donated to the Gallatin River Task Force in 2017. This year, Rick Donaldson squeaked past JeNelle Johnson with over 50 volunteer hours. If it is broken, Rick will fix it! This year, Rick helped rework our accounting system, conducted outreach at the Big Sky Farmer’s Market, and was elected board chair. We are so grateful Rick Donaldson is our fearless leader.
Most Pebbles Counted – JeNelle Johnson
Everybody loves this very special volunteer. Last year, she won the “Rookie of the Year” and returned in 2017 more dedicated to the Task Force than ever. JeNelle Johnson donated over 40 hours to the Task Force by participating in almost every event we hosted this year. She supported our work by bruising her knees counting pebbles, peddling swag at the Big Sky Farmer’s Market, recruiting a team for the Annual Upper Gallatin River Cleanup, and harvesting willows to protect water quality. Thank you so much, JeNelle, it lifts our spirits to spend time with you.
Water Quality Specialist – Dan Mahony
The Task Force staff met our “Water Quality Specialist” awardee at a river restoration course we hosted in fall 2016. He barged into our office during the winter of 2017, and he’s been talking our ears off ever since. Dan Mahony, a Yellowstone National Park veteran, volunteered 35 hours with the Gallatin River Task Force this year to monitor water quality and harvest willows. Although we can’t always count on Dan to RSVP, we know he’ll drive all the way from Gallatin Valley to help us when we need it most. Thank you, Dan, for your time and for always knowing just how to make us laugh.
Most Valuable Caster – Rich Addicks
This year, the “Most Valuable Caster” award goes to a high performing board member known for capturing iconic imagery. Not only does this individual have a sharp eye for design, which he has used to review countless print and electronic documents, but he’s also a wordsmith. Rich has provided critical insight over the past couple of years to help us update our brand and communication strategy. We thank you, Rich, for holding us to the highest standard. We feel incredibly fortunate to have you on our team!
Join the Task Force!
Throughout the year, there are many opportunities to monitor the health of the Upper Gallatin River Watershed or participate in a planning committee. During the summer months, you can assist with the Gallatin River Fly Fishing Festival, wield a shovel to help with our restoration projects, or volunteer at our booth at the Big Sky Farmers Market.