Honoring a longtime volunteer

From campground hosts, to those on forest watch, DNR volunteers are amazing assets to our recreation program, and here’s the story of one of them.

Mary Van Amburg poses with a certificate of appreciate from DNR for her years of volunteering. Photo courtesy the Amburg family.
DNR staff recently provided Mary with a certificate of appreciation for her years of service. Photo courtesy the Amburg family.

Mary Van Amburg, 77, has volunteered with DNR since 1973. Mary has spent countless hours caring for recreation opportunities in the Ahtanum State Forest and the Wenas Wildlife Area. If you’ve ever been to these beautiful areas, chances are your visit was more memorable because of her work.

During her 43 years volunteering with DNR, Mary has served as a DNR Ahtanum State Forest Recreation Planning Committee member, Forest Watch volunteer, Wenas User Group member, and Yakima Ski Benders member, helping to maintain our forestland and educate young snowmobile riders on snow safety and rider etiquette. Up until Mary became ill, she organized a Forest Watch patrol event in Ahtanum State Forest for several years on Memorial Day weekend.

“Mary has done so much to create incredible experiences for all people who are able to enjoy this amazing part of the state,” said Stephanie Margheim, DNR volunteer specialist in southeastern Washington. “Her dedication and enthusiasm is so appreciated. Mary always shows up with a smile and hugs for everyone.”

To continue Mary’s example of DNR volunteerism, consider giving back to the DNR recreation trails or sites that you enjoy most. Visit our website to find a volunteer event near you. For more information about DNR’s volunteer program, visit our website.