We invite everyone to participate in our fun community-based events, including river cleanups, festivals, and education events. An educated and engaged community is a community that recognizes the benefits our local rivers provide for our families and our future. We always need volunteers to help us with our community education and outreach as well as adminstrative tasks. We do offer internship opportunities and we are always looking for volunteers to help us with our mission. Contact our April O'Leary, Programs Officer if you are interested in volunteering.
RIVERKEEPER® Volunteer of the Year
We greatly appreciate the hard work of our dedicated volunteers. Each year, we recognize one special individual or individuals and honor them with the Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER® Joy Pinson Award for Exceptional Service to the Waccamaw River.
2016- Leslie Wilson. Congratulations to our 2016 Volunteer of the Year, Leslie Wilson! We're so honored to recognize Leslie for her passion and commitment to our rivers and community. Read below to learn why Leslie is "all in."
As a girl with strong farming roots from both sides of my family, love and respect for the natural world that sustains us has always been at the forefront of my life. I've been amazed at the beauty of a pansy face, fallen leaf or smooth stone as long as memory holds.
My husband Mark introduced me to paddling the black waters of the Waccamaw and Kingston Lake. I was awestruck by the amount of life this ecosystem supported! On that first warm March morning paddle the trees were filled with singing goldfinch, prothonotary warblers came to hover in front of my face and look me in the eye, turtles sunbathed on logs, fence lizards and anoles watched from tree trunks as we floated by. I spent most of my childhood building forts and exploring the hardwoods of piedmont N.C., and considered myself fortunate to come across a box turtle or garter snake. I could identify a handful of bird species then, mostly bird feeder variety, but here there are over 50 identified in my backyard alone! I realized this place was rich in diversity in both plant and animal life. Fascinating!
We exposed our children to the wonders of the wild areas of Horry county and have succeeded in instilling our love of such within them....and they continue the tradition by taking many friends on day and nighttime paddles on those smooth, reflective black waters. As a stay at home mom I felt obliged to volunteer whenever the schools, church or community asked. And when Luke left for college I decide to convert his soccer mom time into answering the call of the Waccamaw Riverkeeper.
I saw an announcement in the paper asking for volunteer water quality monitors and thought that would be something where my biology degree would help, and I could be doing something I feel compelled to do--protect clean water and land. Plus, I would be on the river at least two mornings a month, my treat! I read that notice three times, each time that small still voice inside saying, "you should answer that call." Here I am, ten years later, having made friends with my fellow water samplers and staff at WRF, firmly entrenched in this grassroots organization! It's deeply gratifying to be working with a group that understands the importance of clean water to quality of life. I know we have each others' back--I'm all in!! -Leslie Wilson
2015 - Vincent Flanagan
2014 - Jane and Chris Ochsenbein
2013 - Jo Wayman
2012 - Dale Stevens
2011 - Yakkity Yaker Kayak Group
2010 - Hal Vivian
2009 - Valerie Moliterno
2008 - Joe Elliott
2007 - John Bracken
2006 - Arthur “Rick” Rickenbaker
2005 - Buddy Freeman
2004 - Kaye and Charles King
2003 - Elizabeth Weems
2002 - Diana Jackson
2001 - Joy Pinson
Congratulations to all of our Volunteers of the Year!