FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The Colorado State Forest Service has recognized Rose Banzhaf with its Volunteer of the Year award for 2020.
Banzhaf has been instrumental in supporting the Colorado State Forest Service’s work with the Colorado Project Learning Tree (PLT) program. PLT uses trees and forests as windows on the world to increase students’ understanding of the environment and actions they can take to conserve it. It reaches thousands of youth across Colorado each year with important forest education. The CSFS relies heavily upon volunteers like Banzhaf to share this key program with formal educators, nonformal educators, preservice teachers and natural resource professionals.
Banzhaf, a resident of Woodland Park, has given countless hours to the PLT program, serving as chair of the Colorado PLT advisory council, contributing to the strategic planning team and jumping into the virtual world by facilitating numerous online PLT workshops. She also coordinated with CSFS staff to help prepare Woodland Park High School Envirothon students for their state competition.
Her volunteer contributions include working with the Colorado PLT advisory council’s standards alignment committee to design a plan for correlating PLT curriculum with Colorado’s new science standards. Also, Banzhaf was one of the first people to jump onboard to adapt PLT workshops into a virtual format when in-person workshops were cancelled due to COVID-19 last year. Typically, PLT workshops involve group learning experiences with hands-on activities, and her effort and creativity helped to keep engagement high with interactive virtual and remote learning experiences.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed all my time this year with PLT. I love working with all of the [Colorado State] Forest Service people I get to work with,” Banzhaf remarked as she received her award.
The award was presented virtually at the CSFS’s Annual Meeting last month.
“In 2020, Rose contributed hundreds of volunteer hours to the Colorado PLT program,” said Danielle Ardrey, Conservation and Youth Education Specialist and PLT coordinator for the CSFS, who nominated Banzhaf for the award. “Her creativity, flexibility and commitment to seeing the program’s success are highly valued. She has been instrumental in supporting our work, reaching educators and impacting youth. Her work has allowed the CSFS to expand its reach during an especially challenging time by developing virtual and remote learning resources. She has been a huge support for the program, helping us educate Colorado citizens about trees and forests.”
For more information about Banzhaf’s work with the CSFS, please contact Ardrey at (970) 732-0569 or Danielle.Ardrey@colostate.edu.
–Colorado State Forest Service
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