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Placer Land Trust honors two exceptional volunteers


By: Placer Land Trust

AUBURN, Calif. March 5, 2013 - On Thursday, February 21, Placer Land Trust presented two Auburn residents with special awards for their volunteer efforts. Dr. Dennis Cavallo was named the 2012 Land Steward of the Year, and Sarah Darney was named the 2012 Volunteer of the Year. Placer Land Trust presents these awards annually to volunteers who have made exceptional service contributions to the organization.

"Placer Land Trust is truly honored to have people as dedicated as Dennis and Sarah volunteering with us," says Placer Land Trust Executive Director Jeff Darlington. "Our volunteers are a vital part of our organization which helps our staff in numerous ways."

Cavallo is a native Californian and lives in Christian Valley with his wife Sharon. He began volunteering with Placer Land Trust in 1991. In 2012, Cavallo made significant contributions to Placer Land Trust's burrowing owl habitat restoration efforts. Burrowing owl numbers have been declining in California and they are a state-listed species of special concern. The Trust's Swainsons Grassland Preserve and Doty Ravine Preserve in rural Lincoln are home to the only known year-round populations of burrowing owls in Placer County. Dr. Cavallo helped install and repair artificial nest systems designed to increase the burrowing owl population and subsequently helped monitor, document and photograph project success.

"I volunteer my time because I enjoy being outdoors and helping with habitat conservation" said Cavallo. "I never expected to receive an award for doing it, but I'm honored to be recognized."

Sarah Darney lives in Auburn with her three children. She left the workforce several years ago to be a stay-at-home mom, but like many, when the economy took a down-turn she needed to return to work. She came to Placer Land Trust in January 2012 through a work experience program with Placer County, volunteering 24 hours a week to develop work experience and skills. In 2012, Darney completed an internal audit of the Trust's property files, assisted with mailings, data entry, event planning, and the Trust's national accreditation renewal.

"Volunteering with Placer Land Trust has been a very rewarding experience," said Darney. "It's great being part of the team protecting land around here, for my three kids and for others in the future."

Placer Land Trust is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in 1991 and dedicated to working with willing landowners and conservation partners to permanently preserve natural and agricultural lands in Placer County. To date the Trust has preserved over 7,400 acres across Placer County for current and future generations. For more information, call (530) 887-9222 or visit www.placerlandtrust.org.


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