John Graham recently saw his work with the Columbia County Adopt-a-Stream program rewarded.
During a February Georgia River Network conference in Rome, Ga., Graham was named the 2008 Volunteer of the Year by Georgia Adopt-A-Stream, which is affiliated with the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources.
Graham, who has a doctorate in entomology, became a volunteer with Adopt-a-Stream in 2002 and has been active since. He is the county's volunteer coordinator for the program.
"Besides being awarded, it was also meant to provide an opportunity for learning more about what others are doing, appreciating their experiences and maybe finding ways to make use of those experiences in our own applications," Graham said.
He was chosen as the winner by the Adopt-a-Stream advisory board and state coordinator.
"We have over 14,000 volunteers and out of 14,000 volunteers, we have to narrow that down to one volunteer of the year, and that was John Graham," said Allison Hughes, the state coordinator for Georgia Adopt-a-Stream.
Frank Carl, the Savannah Riverkeeper's executive director, nominated Graham for the award. The men have known each other for about 10 years and Carl said Graham was always dedicated to the project.
"He deserves it," said Carl, who serves as a volunteer coordinator for the Adopt-a-Stream program. "When you nominate somebody and that person stands out as the volunteer who's doing the most for the program, it just seems pretty obvious."
Hughes said Graham leads a series of training workshops, has adopted stream sites in Columbia County and serves as a role model for volunteers throughout the county.
In addition to his coordinating efforts, Graham said he is in the process of releasing his 54th edition of Adopt- a-Stream's monthly newsletter.
"He's always hosting workshops and has always got his Adopt-a-Stream hat on no matter where he is," Hughes said. "He does it out of the goodness of his own heart."
For more information about the Adopt-a-Stream program, contact Graham at email@example.com or visit www.columbiacountyga.gov.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.