Awards

The Ice Age Trail would not exist without the support of hundreds of volunteers and other "Friends of the Ice Age Trail." In appreciation and recognition of their dedication, longevity and motivating support, the Ice Age Trail Alliance gives out the awards listed below.

To make a nomination for one of these Ice Age Trail awards, visit our Make an Award Nomination page.

"In the Mud" Award

Awarded to IATA member volunteers who display dedication to the mission and goals of the IATA and a willingness to roll up their sleeves on behalf of the Ice Age Trail. An In the Mud recipient:

  • Consistently shows up at workdays and dives into the dirty work
  • Makes significant efforts to establish the Ice Age Trail
  • Epitomizes the bedrock volunteer spirit responsible for building trail

Nomination
Chapter leaders request nominations from chapter members toward the end of each year. At-large members and chapter members being nominated for work outside of their chapter may be nominated by any volunteer, staff member or board member. Trailwide nominations are due by February 1st.

Selection
Chapter winners will be selected by chapter vote at year-end chapter meetings, with a maximum of two recipients per chapter per year. Chapter leaders then forward an "In the Mud" selection form to staff by February 1st. Staff selects statewide-affiliated nominees by majority vote.

Presentation
Presented at the IATA annual membership conference. If the award winner cannot attend the conference, the award is delivered via mail.

Recipients

You can download a list of all "In the Mud" award recipients.

Years of Service Award

Longevity of active volunteer service is awarded at 10-, 20- and 30-year milestones.

Selection
IATA staff members and chapter leaders work to establish "active volunteer since..." dates for all volunteers. These dates are reviewed each year to determine eligibility for Years of Service awards.

Presentation
Presented at the IATA annual membership conference. If the award winner cannot attend the conference, the award is delivered via mail.

Recipients
You can download a list of all recipients of 10, 20 and 30 Years of Service awards.

Ray Zillmer Award

As the highest honor given by the IATA, the Ray Zillmer Award recognizes individuals whose work exemplifies the long-range, big-picture ideals that inspired and continue to inspire the establishment of the Ice Age Trail. Nominees have performed at least two of the following actions:

  • Served the Ice Age Trail for many years
  • Markedly elevated public awareness of the Trail
  • Secured significant funding
  • Significantly advanced the Trail in some other way

Nomination
Written nominations are submitted to any staff member or member of the Board of Directors via a nomination form. Nominations will be directed to the Executive Director, for additional input, then to the Board President for distribution to the ad hoc Award Selection Committee.

Selection
Prior to the nomination deadline, an ad hoc Award Selection Committee will be determined and the selection meeting date scheduled to occur within a few weeks after the close of nominations.

Presentation
Presented publicly by the Executive Director and the Board President at a statewide Trail event, celebration, public event or media event.

Recipients
2001: David Obey

Henry S. Reuss Award

The prestigious Henry S. Reuss Award recognizes work performed by individuals through government channels on behalf of the Trail at multiple levels. It emphasizes the recipient's ability to:

  • Affect influential parties to take an active role in the mission of the IATA
  • Maintain an ongoing public relationship as a Friend of the Trail
  • Bring about significant change for Trail mission advancement
  • Change the political climate to benefit the Trail

Nomination
Written nominations are submitted to any staff member or member of the Board of Directors via a nomination form. Nominations will be directed to the Executive Director, for additional input, then to the Board President for distribution to the ad hoc Award Selection Committee.

Selection
Prior to the nomination deadline, an ad hoc Award Selection Committee will be determined and the selection meeting date scheduled to occur within a few weeks after the close of nominations.

Presentation
Presented publicly by the Executive Director and the President of the Board of Directors at a statewide Trail event or celebration, public event, media event or a gathering of the recipient's peers.

Recipients
2001: Kevin Shibilski
2004: Tammy Baldwin

Spirit Stick Award

This statewide award symbolizes long-term dedication and service to the Ice Age Trail and is presented to only one recipient per year. Spirit Stick nominees:

  • Exhibit a passion for the Trail that has become a way of life
  • Lead by example and inspire those around them
  • Carry out their service in a spirit of cooperation, optimism and enthusiasm

Nomination
IATA members who wish to nominate someone for the Spirit Stick award should fill out a nomination form and submit it to any staff member at any time throughout the year.

Selection
Staff selects the recipient by majority vote. Shortly after February 1st, staff votes on all active nominations. Each nomination is valid for three years.

Presentation
Presented at the IATA annual membership conference, this award is a hand-carved walking stick depicting the Wood Spirit in human form. The Spirit Stick is a traveling trophy that remains with the recipient for one year. Each recipient's name and the year of their award are carved into the stick.

 The Spirit Stick.

The Spirit Stick.

Recipients

2000: Gary Werner
2001: Bill "Kangaroo" Knickrehm
2002: Butch Siegel
2004: Nancy Lazzaroni
2005: Joe Jopek
2006: Ken Neitzke
2007: David Phillips
2008: Dean Dversdall
2009: Bernie & Bess Alberg
2010: Gary Klatt
2011: Luke Kloberdanz
2012: Craig Sanford
2013: Sharon Dziengel
2014: Bill Welch

The Legend of the Wood Spirit

The Wood Spirit is said to be the Lord of the Forest and Natural Things. European villagers used to go out on regular hunts, hoping to find a Wood Spirit to foretell the future of their village.

The next time you are strolling through the woods, keep an eye out for one of these elusive creatures. They are extremely strong. Wood Spirits can tear an opponent limb from limb and can tame any wild animal. At the same time they are gentle with maidens, children and men of good heart.

It is said that the forest will stand for as long as the Wood Spirit remains to keep order. And if you're lucky to see one, health, happiness and good fortune will be yours. However, that does not happen often. Wood Spirits would rather see than be seen. Most sightings are by children or the pure of heart.

When you take your Wood Spirit home, give it a place of honor. Include the Wood Spirit in the audience when you tell jokes (they have a great sense of humor). If you do these things, your Wood Spirit will bring his gentle wisdom, humor and luck into your home.

Public Partner Award

The recipient of the Ice Age Trail Alliance's Public Partner award:

  • Is an individual rather than a body of government
  • Works for a public, governmental agency
  • Has provided dedicated, ongoing service for the Trail, above and beyond regular duties

Nomination
Written nominations are submitted to any staff member or member of the Board of Directors via a nomination form. Nominations will be directed to the Executive Director, for additional input, then to the Board President for distribution to the ad hoc Award Selection Committee.

Selection
Prior to the nomination deadline, an ad hoc Award Selection Committee will be determined and the selection meeting date scheduled to occur within a few weeks after the close of nominations.

Presentation
This award will be presented at a gathering of the recipient's peers.

Recipients
1997: Janet Beach Hanson
2004: John Wald
2008: Tom Gilbert
2008: Tom Presny
2010: Brigit Brown
2011: Terry Jensen

Friend of the Ice Age Trail Award

This award recognizes foundations, businesses and other organizations for their strong support of the Ice Age Trail. A recipient has accomplished one or more of the following:

  • Given a single sizable monetary contribution
  • Given significant monetary contributions over many years
  • Enabled new capacity within the IATA through financial contribution
  • Partnered with the IATA in another significant way

Nomination
Written nominations are submitted to any staff member or member of the Board of Directors via a nomination form. Nominations will be directed to the Executive Director, for additional input, then to the Board President for distribution to the ad hoc Award Selection Committee.

Selection
Prior to the nomination deadline, an ad hoc Award Selection Committee will be determined and the selection meeting date scheduled to occur within a few weeks after the close of nominations.

Presentation
Presented publicly by the Executive Director or the President of the Board of Directors at a statewide Trail event or celebration, public event, media event or recipient's choice of location.

Recipients
2010: Celtic, Inc.
2011: The Antigo Daily Journal

Excellence in Staff Service Award

From time to time, the Board of Directors may recognize staff members who have exhibited exceptional and long-term dedication to the Trail mission; fostered positive, productive relationships between staff, volunteers, partners and communities; and served as an exemplary "face of the Ice Age Trail."

Presentation
Presented by the Board President at the IATA Annual Conference or recipient's choice of location.

Recipients
2012: Tim Malzhan

Mammoth Society

Also categorized as the IATA's most prestigious level of membership, this award grants lifetime membership and is reserved for extraordinary contributions by an individual in one or more of the following categories:

  • Those who have given a significant planned gift to the IATA
  • Those who have facilitated significant land access or given major monetary donations
  • Volunteers who have given 30 years of "active" membership or served on the IATA board of directors for at least two full terms, or made other extraordinary contributions.

Nomination
Written nominations are submitted at any time to the Development Committee for recommendation to the Board.

Selection
The Board will review recommended nominees and grant approval to qualified candidates.

Presentation
May be presented at the IATA annual membership conference or at the location of recipient's choice or delivered via mail.

Recipients
Bernie & Bess Alberg
Anonymous
Jerry Goth
Lee Swanson

Leadership Memorial

The Leadership Memorial category recognizes longtime Trail leaders who have passed away, whether they were Board members or Directors Emeritus. This expands IATA leadership recognition beyond Directors Emeritus. 

Nomination
Written nominations are submitted at any time to the Development Committee for recommendation to the Board.

Selection
The Board will review recommended nominees and grant approval to qualified candidates.

Presentation
The Leadership Memorial award is given to a member of the recipient's family at a Trail event or private gathering.

Recipients
Dick Cates
Joyce Erdman
Ody J. Fish
Warren Knowles
Henry Reuss
Sarah Sykes
Marion "Barney" Viste
J.J. "Doc" Werner
John Zillmer
Raymond Zillmer

National Park Service's "Volunteers In Parks" (VIP) Awards Program

All IATA volunteers are eligible for the National Park Service Volunteers In Parks (VIP) awards program. Every volunteer in the IATA database has a "career hours count" that began January 1, 2007. Volunteers earn awards (e.g. certificates, pins, hats, shirts and jackets) as they log hours in increments of 100, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond. Additionally, each time a volunteer passes a 250-hour increment, they receive a federal Interagency Volunteer Pass that waives entrance fees at all federally administered recreation sites (national parks, national forests, etc.) for one year.

Selection
The IATA tracks volunteer hours, through chapter and other volunteer event reporting, to identify these award recipients.

Presentation
Presented by NPS staff at the IATA annual membership conference. If the award winner cannot attend the conference, the award is delivered by NPS via mail.

Recipients
The list of all those with more than 100 hours is too long to include here; below is a list of our "volunteer hours champions"...all of those with more than 1,000 hours through Sept. 30, 2013.

First Name

Last Name

Career Hours

Don

Erickson

7540.50

Dean

Dversdall

5757.00

Gary

Werner

4596.85

Gary

Klatt

4177.90

Russ

Helwig

4070.00

Rich

Propp

3430.00

Mark

Jeffries

3335.05

Dave

Lonsdorf

3318.70

Tom

Wise

3317.10

Sally

Freckmann

3260.50

Dave

Jenkins

3212.80

Pat

Witkowski

3202.00

Richard

Smith

3190.25

Craig

Sanford

3115.00

Mike

Fort

2917.50

Butch

Siegel

2766.25

Rachel

Roberts

2763.35

Bill

Welch

2614.00

Theresa

Werner

2575.35

John

Mesching

2560.50

Dolly

McNulty

2541.37

Randy

Lennartz

2509.00

Sharon

Dziengel

2468.00

Barbara

Wollmer

2135.00

Dale

Crisler

2128.25

Rod

Bartlow

2115.00

Leah

Bradley

2091.00

John

Helling

2058.30

Jane

Wester

2022.00

Cora

Dversdall

2016.00

Jerome

Converse

1899.90

Thelma

Johnson

1898.00

Kris

Jensen

1893.46

Luke

Kloberdanz

1840.50

Joe

Jopek

1780.25

Gail

Piotrowski

1774.30

Dave

Caliebe

1690.50

Jim

Powers

1685.25

Mark

Struve

1670.50

Rita

Fox

1647.51

Bruce

Jaecks

1635.00

Roy

Gromme

1629.75

Buzz

Meyer

1616.50

Edward

Spoon

1596.00

John

Shank

1590.50

Wanda

Brown

1527.00

Carole

Crisler

1521.00

Dan

Rambo

1453.50

Jo

Wenzler

1435.50

Dennis

Nuernberger

1422.00

Bob

Broman

1417.00

Ruby

Jaecks

1409.00

Jerry

Sazama

1406.75

Ken

Neitzke

1385.00

Steve

McCabe

1381.50

Tom

Gross

1373.20

Brook

Waalen

1370.50

Ken

Schoenike

1370.25

Ruth

Sommers

1353.00

Paul

Kuhlmann

1345.50

Chet

Anderson

1344.00

Barb

Voigt

1329.90

Melanie

Lord

1312.90

Bob

Funk

1306.50

Joe

Aldstadt

1305.25

Cork

Lundberg

1263.00

Fred

Nash

1258.00

Gary

Hegeman

1254.25

Ron

Schwilk

1231.00

Judy

Fossen

1223.75

Debbie

Krogwold

1213.00

Barb

Converse

1192.20

Herb

Lundberg

1191.00

Nancy

Reschke

1181.00

Jon

Bishop

1180.60

Mike

Wollmer

1180.50

Herb

Schotz

1100.00

Gary

Patzke

1064.00

Paul

Mozina

1058.00

Ron

Nacker

1037.70

Dean

Paynter

1035.75

Paula

Klima

1024.00

Mary

Hilfiker

1018.00