Conservation Awards


ASPEN AWARD recognizes outstanding service by a volunteer in their first three years. 

Meet this year’s nominees.

Aspen Award Nominees

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Joe Wallace is an outstanding volunteer at LMNC who repeatedly picks up last minute shifts and requests for service. He does an exceptional job at interacting with visitors and is excellent at sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for JCOS.

Michelle Poolet enthusiastically works with visitors to help them find the park that best fits their needs. She treats everyone she interacts with like a long-time friend. She conducted surveys at SLASH collection sites last summer and demonstrated commitment to understanding the complexities of fire mitigation for residents in the county.

Check out our Aspen Award Recipients from 2020 and 2019!

Congratulations to Michelle Poolet, this year's Aspen Award Recipient.


ROCKY MOUNTAIN JUNIPER AWARD is presented to an individual for outstanding service with a stewardship project or education initiative. 

Meet this year’s nominees.

Rocky Mountain Juniper Nominees

Steve Leibold has demonstrated a level of commitment that exceeds the expectations for Park Hosts and Welcome Center Information Specialists. His willingness to help in a wide variety of ways not only supports the JCOS mission, but it also reaches countless park visitors who then become better stewards of our parks. Steve has made a lasting impact on JCOS.

LaMese Hurrell-Coupe has worked tirelessly and selflessly to keep the parks clean, and keeps visitors educated on the rules and regulations. She is well informed and always conveys her message in a friendly and courteous way when discussing violations with visitors. LaMese  jumps at every call to help. Her work in the parks embodies the mission of JCOS.

Check out our Rocky Mountain Juniper Award Recipients from 2020 and 2019!

Congratulations to Steve Leibold and LaMese Hurrell-Coupe, this year's Rocky Mountain Juniper Award Recipients.


DOUGLAS FIR AWARD recognizes an organization that is an outstanding partner advancing conservation in Jefferson County.

Meet this year’s nominees.

Douglas Fir Nominees

The City of Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation department donated staff time and resources to collaborate with JCOS to host a volunteer clean up along Clear Creek. Volunteers’ actions will result in cleaner habitat for aquatic and land species. The education that each volunteer received during the project will also encourage many will become lifelong stewards of our public lands. 

The Burro Patrol Team is a new volunteer group that helps “catch” and reward visitors for good behavior in our parks. They also assist with service-based projects for JCOS, including hauling equipment, trail courtesy pop-ups, trash pick-up, clearing emergency access routes, removal of tress, and deploying research traps.

In 2021, the Trail Runner Volunteers maintained 16.2 miles of trail, picked up over 200 lbs of trash, stabilized sections of trail with rock retaining walls, and removed noxious weeds along the trails. They have introduced 152 new volunteers to JCOS and trail maintenance and have 573 hours of service. The work of the crew leaders and volunteers has fostered land stewardship principles throughout our parks as well as within our community. 

Check out our  Douglas Fir Award Recipients from 2020 and 2019!

Congratulations to Trail Runner Volunteers, this year's Douglas Fir Award Recipient.


BLUE SPRUCE AWARD is presented to an organization that creates programs or initiatives that connect people to healthy nature-based experiences. 

Meet this year’s nominees.

Blue Spruce Nominees

TeamWorks engages a diverse group of youth in science and conservation-based outdoor education through paid work. The program integrates career opportunities in the outdoor industry through education, life skills, and stewardship. A partner since 2015, TeamWorks performed 35 days of work in 2021, helping maintain healthy forests in our parks.

The COVID Information Team (CIT) was developed in 2020 as a creative solution to help provide information and positive stewardship models for visitors so professional staff could be leveraged for more coverage in the parks. These specially trained volunteers demonstrated their commitment to assisting staff by engaging with park visitors while modeling appropriate COVID safety measures.

Check out our Blue Spruce Award Recipients from 2020 and 2019!

Congratulations to TeamWorks, this year's Blue Spruce Award Recipient.


GAMBEL OAK AWARD is presented for pioneers in preserving open space and park lands in Jefferson County.

Gambel Oak Recipient

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Jefferson Conservation District is a voice for private landowners on natural resource issues and uses scientific expertise to explain the historical and ecological context of their projects. Wildfire risk reduction on the county scale needs collaboration across public and private land to make treatments as effective as possible. They are a pioneer when it comes to connecting landowners with the resources needed to complete forest management projects on their property. 

Check out our Gambel Oak Award Recipients from 2020 and 2019!

Congratulations to Jefferson Conservation District, this year's Gambel Oak Award Recipient.


JOHN LITZ AWARD is our most prestigious award that recognizes an individual for significant and longtime volunteer contributions to JCOS and conservation in Jeffco. The award is named after a man who helped found our organization in 1972 and has been involved as a volunteer ever since. He has served on the Jeffco Open Space Advisory Committee for 26 years and still regularly volunteers to do just about anything to advance our mission.

John Litz Recipient

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Sylvan Ruud has put in over 1,800 volunteer hours since beginning at JCOS in 2017. He never stops learning and excelling in his passions, making him one of our most knowledgeable and versatile volunteers. Selfless and always willing to help various programs at a moment’s notice, Sylvan provides constant support and enthusiasm in all his positions.

Check out our John Litz Award Recipients from 2020 and 2019!

Congratulations to Sylvan Ruud, this year's John Litz Award Recipient.