Mike Reynolds, Acting Director of the National Park Service, and Cheryl Klein, Glacier National Park Volunteer Associates (GNPVA) President - Photo Credit NPS


Wes Henry Award

Cheryl Klein, GNPVA President and Jessica Kusky, GNP, Volunteer Coordinator


Wes Henry National Excellence in Wilderness Stewardship Partnership Award

Cheryl Klein, President of Glacier National Park Volunteer Associates traveled to Washington, DC for the presentation, to GNPVA, of the Wes Henry National Excellence in Wilderness Stewardship Partnership Award for 2016 on August 1, 2017.

The Glacier National Park Volunteer Associates received the 2016 National Park Service Wes Henry Excellence in Wilderness Stewardship Award during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Mike Reynolds, Acting Director of the National Park Service presented Cheryl with the award.

Cheryl Klein, GNPVA president, accepted the award on August 1 on behalf of the group, which was recognized for outstanding contributions to wilderness stewardship by a non-governmental partner. The GNPVA’s dedication to wilderness preservation and patrol and the Backcountry Ranger Intern program are two of the many programs the volunteers support in Glacier National Park.

With a membership of more than 100 volunteers, GNPVA has accomplished many projects to support backcountry operations and preservation, including approximately 7,000 hours of service to Glacier National Park annually.

The Volunteer Associates play an essential role in the park’s backcountry and wilderness areas,” said Glacier Superintendent Jeff Mow. “Collectively they hike almost 5,000 miles each summer and reach out to nearly 12,000 visitors along the trail. Without them, our ability to provide routine visitor safety information and wilderness management in our park’s most remote places would be significantly diminished.”

The volunteers contribute to every function of backcountry patrol, including monitoring compliance with backcountry regulations, assisting with emergency functions, providing minor maintenance at backcountry campsites, and sharing information about Leave No Trace principles.

Additionally, the organization supports the GNPVA Backcountry Ranger Intern program, which provides one college student with a backcountry ranger internship for the summer, stationed at the Walton Ranger Station. This program is supported by the Taggart Schubert Memorial Fund.

Though the award specifically recognizes GNPVA’s contributions to the park’s wilderness and backcountry program, the organization also supports a number of other critical park functions, including working in park visitor centers, the Apgar Nature Center, the native plant nursery, the backcountry permit office, frontcountry campgrounds, citizen science, trails, and historic preservation and general maintenance.



GNPVA Outstanding Volunteer Group In Intermountain Region

The National Park Service has selected the Glacier National Park Volunteer Associates as the 2015 Intermountain Region’s winner of the George and Helen Hartzog Award in the category of Outstanding Volunteer Group Service. Hartzog Awards recognize individuals and groups that make exceptional contributions of their skills, talents, and time to the National Park Service.

Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow said, “We are proud that the Glacier National Park Volunteer Associates were recognized as a leader within the region. We greatly value the contributions they make to the park.”

Glacier National Park Volunteer Associates is an official nonprofit and all volunteer partner of the park and is made up of over 100 members. Volunteer Associates work cooperatively with the park to accomplish projects that may not be completed due to insufficient funding or competing priorities. During the summer, members help staff the Apgar Nature Center, Apgar Visitor Center, and the backcountry permit office. Members also assist with various research projects within the park, patrol the back country trails and rivers as backcountry ranger volunteers, and assist with educational efforts at Logan Pass about responsible recreating near wildlife and historic building maintenance and restoration.

In the past year, the Volunteer Associates have donated approximately $7,000 toward remodeling and updating the Apgar Nature Center, formerly known as the Discovery Cabin. The group has also provided more than $8,000 for the backcountry ranger intern program. The Volunteer Associates have sponsored backcountry interns and provided support to backcountry staff since 2008. Additionally, the organization sponsors a high school student intern to assist with the park’s native plant program and associated greenhouse activities at the Columbia Falls High School.

The Volunteer Associates recently donated $18,000 to the park through the Glacier National Park Conservancy, another official park partner, to rebuild the Goat Lick Overlook. This donation is in honor of the Volunteer Associates 25th anniversary. The Goat Lick Overlook is located along the southern boundary of the park, along US Highway 2. It is a popular place for visitors to view a natural salt lick and mountain goats. The donation will replace handrails, posts, plank decking, and the foundation sub-structure at the overlook. In addition to providing funding, members will volunteer to assist with project preparation and on-site construction. The construction is anticipated to take place this fall.

GNPVA - Outstanding Voluteer Group Award



Volunteer Associates Awarded the “Jack Potter Glacier National Park Stewardship Award”!

Headwaters Montana has named the Glacier National Park Volunteer Associates the recipient of the 2013 Jack Potter Glacier National Park Stewardship Award.

The award is given to an individual, park service employee or non-governmental organization who demonstrates courageous or above average commitment to the stewardship and protection of the natural resources of Glacier National Park.

The Volunteer Associates is credited with marshaling the volunteer help of hundreds of citizen-volunteers to help with the many facets of Glacier Park’s operations and protection of resources.

The award consists of $200 and a hand-blown glass sculpture of a water ouzel by artist Lee Proctor.