The Trail Steward of the Year award recognizes a volunteer whose work contributes in an extraordinary manner to Trail management and development.
These contributions include:
- Strengthening landowner and/or partner relations;
- Trail layout, design, and construction;
- Significant trail maintenance and stewardship efforts.
This year’s award recognizes Jerry Sazama, Chippewa Moraine Chapter.
As Diane Harp, Chippewa Moraine Chapter member wrote in her nomination of Jerry Sazama:
“Jerry Sazama is the backbone of trail maintenance and trailbuilding in the Chippewa Moraine Chapter. If you’re looking for Jerry, you can find him on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, checking to ensure the local segments are in tip-top shape. When a section needs attention, he schedules well-attended Trail Improvement events and gets the work done.
In his quiet manner, Jerry encourages “newbies” in the fine art of trailbuilding and maintenance. He offers instruction and suggestions in a way that helps, not harms, and doesn’t make people feel like they’ve done something wrong. He’s quick to say thanks and to give credit for a job done well. Jerry’s leadership acumen extends to his enormous contributions during Ice Age Trail Alliance’s Mobile Skills Crew events. He’s a well-liked crew leader, capably leading volunteers to craft new tread or build boardwalks or retaining walls. He helps keep his team in good spirits while producing quality work.
Jerry’s dedication to the Ice Age Trail and his interest in being a team player also leads him to be neighborly. He organizes crews of local chapter volunteers to assist Blue Hills Chapter members with maintenance in Rusk County. His excellent rapport with local landowners has helped negotiate Trail usage between hikers and horse riders. Although Jerry would rather be on the Trail than in a meeting, he’s served on the Alliance board, and he’s an active member of the local Land Conservancy.”