SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State officials are recognizing three people for a commitment to volunteering at state parks and recreation areas.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced recipients of this year’s Outstanding Volunteers of the Year awards. They were honored for their service Saturday at the Illinois State Fair.
Three volunteers with the Starved Rock Foundation were honored. Two of them first worked at Starved Rock State Park in Oglesby for over a decade.
Those chosen were Cheryl Barto of Peru, Nancy Bernardoni of Utica and LeeAnn Talty of Streator.
Cheryl Barto served as an office coordinator at Starved Rock State Park for 17 years until her retirement. Nancy Bernardoni, who served as an office coordinator at Starved Rock State Park for 30 years until her retirement, worked with the IDNR in the creation of the Starved Rock Foundation, which facilitates the Visitor Center programs at the park. LeeAnn Talty assists the Starved Rock Foundation with its financial accounting and recordkeeping to assist the organization in providing Visitor Center staffing, educational programs, and interpretive hikes to visitors at Starved Rock State Park. Talty has been a longtime volunteer at Starved Rock, having been recruited to help by her mother, Nancy Bernardoni.