Outstanding Volunteer Award

Ali Braboy, IV Leader Staff

On Saturday, August 17th, Professor Mark Walczynski—a history, philosophy, and criminal justice teacher at IVCC—was one among a group of individuals awarded as an Outstanding Volunteer of the Year by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. He was recognized for his first published book “Starved Rock State Park: The First 100 Years” which he donated to the Starved Rock Historical and Educational Foundation; the proceeds from the purchase of the book goes to the state park. The piece is about the history of the park from its early years to modern times; he has also written “Massacre 1769: The Search for the Origin of the Legend of Starved Rock” which is his investigation on whether or not Indians were killed at the park in 1769. His third book is currently in the process of possibly being published by a university press.

The Outstanding Volunteer award goes to individuals that volunteer an outstanding amount of time and effort in helping state parks and conservation projects. Along with teaching classes and writing, Mr. Walczynski also is park historian for the Starved Rock Educational and Historical Foundation, and he spends personal time working with the state park’s website and giving guided tours and presentations of the park. On November 23rd he will be giving a presentation in Austin, Texas on the topic of LaSalle.