Colleen Callahan Burns, Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, recognized the 2019 Outstanding Volunteers of the Year at the Illinois State Fair.
Among those recognized was the Kickapoo Mountain Bike Club for their efforts on a number of trail improvement and enhancement projects at Kickapoo State Recreation Area near Oakwood. Volunteers from this group put in approximately 1,000 hours.
Officers of the club, including Milford High School graduate Anthony Maro, Steve Fox, Troy Savalick, and trail improvement coordinator Shawn Conklin, could not attend the IDNR Outstanding Volunteers of the Year awards ceremony on Aug. 10 at the Illinois State Fair, because they were volunteering, running a previously-scheduled mountain biking event at the Kickapoo park trail system.
Accepting the award on their behalf was Jessica (Totheroh) Maro, Brittany Savalick, and their children.
IDNR officials said the club members help maintain 14 miles of mountain bike trails at the site, fixing eroded sections of trail, removing trees that have succumbed to emerald ash borer and building up areas of the trail where needed.
This year, the club designed and built a new section of trail about three miles long with club members funding equipment rentals and materials purchased for the trail section and trail bridges.
For more information about the club, go to their web page, kickapoomountainbike.org or find them on Facebook.