CONTACT: Mary Runkel, , 515-288-1846, ext. 17

Decorah residents receive Governor's Volunteer Award

DECORAH, IOWA - Six Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) volunteers will receive a Governor's Volunteer Award for their time, service and commitment to the 37-year-old conservation organization. Two area volunteers - Devvin Schroeder and Dennis Haller - will be honored at 1:30 p.m. on June 28 at the University of Northern Iowa.

The award, coordinated by Volunteer Iowa, has been given out to volunteers across the state since 1982.

"I am pleased to honor those who have given the precious gift of their time to meet essential needs across Iowa," stated Governor Terry E. Branstad. "The commitment of these volunteers - and all volunteers - helps Iowa consistently remain in the top 10 states in the nation for its volunteerism rate."

In 2015, 340 volunteers donated over 2,000 hours to INHF. These stewards attended 27 events, assisted in the INHF office and used their talents to advance INHF's mission of protecting and restoring Iowa's land, water and wildlife. The two Decorah-area winners were nominated for the following:
  • Devvin Schroeder dedicated her entire 2015 summer to restoring Iowa's land, water and wildlife in northeast Iowa. While still in high school, she worked alongside INHF's blufflands land stewardship intern crew, working 10-hour days during the summer months to restore Iowa's northeastern native landscape. Devvin gave 440 hours in one summer, and did the whole thing with great determination, enthusiasm and a smile on her face.
  • Dennis Haller is passionate about Iowa's wild places. He exemplifies that by not only devoting his time to INHF, but doing so in a capacity that's above and beyond any expectations. He's a fervent volunteer, supporter and advocate who's given well over 100 hours in the past three years.
"These individuals inspire me and the whole staff: we all stand inspired, extremely grateful and very hopeful for the future," said Mary Runkel, INHF volunteer coordinator. "These volunteers give their time to a cause greater than themselves and expect nothing in return. They're improving the conservation world in their own unique ways and deserve the highest recognition for it. Perhaps by sharing their stories, we can encourage and empower others to take action at causes they love."

Four other INHF volunteers -  Nathan Houck, Catherine Wilson, Marilyn Sand and Ron Schulz - will be honored on June 21 in Des Moines. 


Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is a nonprofit conservation group that works with private landowners and other partners to protect Iowa's land, water and wildlife. Since its founding in 1979, INHF has helped protect more than 150,000 acres of Iowa's wild places.

For more information, visit or call 515-288-1846.