Prairie Partners name Benson Volunteer of the Year

Photo courtesy of Susie Johnson
THE PRAIRIE PARTNERS, the volunteer arm of the Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area, named Georgiean Benson the 2021 Volunteer of the Year. Prairie Partner president Charlene McDade [left] presented Benson with the award on Oct. 5.

Georgiean Benson is dedicated to the mission of the Goose Lake Prairie Partners, Inc. From the moment she joined back in 2019, Benson has been asking what she can do to help, and she’s been helping ever since.
In her short time as a member, Benson has made significant contributions to the organization, the only volunteer group that supports the 2,537-acre Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area [GLPSNA] north of Coal City.
Benson has given of her time, talent and knowledge to support the work of the Partners and it is for her countless contributions to the GLPSNA that she was selected as the groups 2021 Volunteer of the Year.
Prairie Partners president Char McDade presented Benson, of South Wilmington, with the annual award at the organization’s Oct. 5 meeting.
Benson’s contributions to the organization and state natural area include working in the plant beds, hiking with visitors and planning and implementing school visits. She has researched and added the scientific names to the animal skull display at the GLPSNA Visitor Center, and she redid the American Indian arrowheads and tools display last year. Benson even added an informative booklet to accompany the display.
Having recently went through site training, Benson is now a weekend volunteer at the GLPSNA visitor’s center and is on duty from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
A former biology teacher, the Prairie Partners, say her knowledge has served well in drawing up plans for the various groups that come to the park. They report she has a talent for talking to the students that visit the site, and add that with her help the Partners continue to educate visitors year after year.
Benson’s name will be added to the Volunteer of the Year plaque that hangs behind the front desk of the visitor’s center.
Volunteers are always needed to assist the organization in its work supporting the GLPSNA. Anyone interested in being outdoors and talking to the public, is invited to join Benson and her fellow Prairie Partners.