Jeff Stark receives the Volunteer of the Year from Mike Lester, director of the Colorado State Forest Service.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Fort Collins resident and Colorado State University alum Jeff Stark has been named 2015 “Volunteer of the Year” by the Colorado State Forest Service for remarkable efforts in forestry outreach and service.

The award is bestowed to only one CSFS volunteer statewide each year, for contributing toward the agency’s strategic priorities through hours worked, quality of service, initiative and professionalism.

Stark, who has a forestry degree from CSU and in the past has been a wildland firefighter, has been volunteering for the CSFS since 2013, helping with outreach and forest management efforts. He was officially recognized by the CSFS at the agency’s annual meeting and awards ceremony this week in Glenwood Springs.

“Jeff is a skilled sawyer and helps with many of our forest health projects,” said Nancy Dadisman, volunteer coordinator for the CSFS. “His knowledge about forestry and his ability to explain management concepts to the public makes him a real asset at Scout Days, the National Western Stock Show and other outreach events.”

Stark gives back locally in more than one way – he also volunteers at the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, where he leads the cage construction and repairs for the birds in rehabilitation.

Dadisman says Stark’s technical skills with tools and equipment and his forestry expertise make him a standout among CSFS volunteers, describing how he rebuilt the interior PVC framework of a well-used “puppet tree” that is a favorite prop for teaching children about the importance of trees.

“Jeff always shows up to our volunteer events with a great attitude, a willingness to do whatever is needed, and the energy to go above and beyond on what is asked of him,” she said. “He has a contagious passion for natural resources and a sense of humor that makes him enjoyable to have at any project.”

Learn more about the CSFS Volunteer Program.