2024 Volunteers of the Year

2024 Volunteers of the Year

April 26, 2024

Congratulations to Spring Valley volunteers, Sandy and Tony Meo, for winning the Volunteers of the Year Award at the Village of Schaumburg's 36th Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards Luncheon! The duo has jointly contributed well over 15,000 hours over 40+ years to support Spring Valley! Our dedicated volunteers are a huge part of what makes Schaumburg such an amazing community!

Photo courtesy of The Village of Schaumburg

2024 Volunteer of the Year Nomination

Sandy & Tony Meo

In the long history of community volunteer support at Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm, there have been no other volunteers that can match the tenure and contributions of Sandy and Tony Meo. They came on the scene before Spring Valley’s official grand opening in 1983, assisting the Spring Valley Nature Club and getting to know the site’s remaining resident, Herman Redeker. In particular, Sandy has served as a de facto site historian, gleaned from those early conversations with Mr. Redeker and years of research. Sandy has since assisted staff in managing the historic collections records held by Heritage Farm. Sandy also served as one of the first school field trip leaders, when operations were based out of Merkle Cabin. She later donned period outfits to interpret at Heritage Farm on a regular basis. Tony has been a steward of the grounds and facilities for over 40 years, putting his handyman skills to use in making improvements, constructing fence gates at Heritage Farm, repairing trail amenities, building and installing bird houses, benches, and much more. Both of the Meo's assisted in many of the early planting projects at Spring Valley, and together, are probably responsible for establishing hundreds of the trees, shrubs, and native prairie plants visible today. Tony also served on the volunteer burn crew for many years, assisting with prescription burns of natural areas. Together, Sandy and Tony have volunteered at just about every community special event offered at Spring Valley. They have jointly contributed over 15,000 hours over 40+ years to support Spring Valley. Even as age has impacted their energy to participate, it has not dampened their enthusiasm. Tony continues to put in 400+ hours each year assisting with repairs and carpentry projects along with producing dozens of birdhouse kits assembled by families at Spring Valley’s annual Earth Day event. The Meos have truly been a force of nature at Spring Valley, and their impact has been immeasurable!

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