Troy Schwable isn’t being overly modest when he says it takes a village to raise a recreation area. After all, in separate interviews last week, he and his wife, Kathy, quickly listed dozens of volunteers who have helped to make the Riverside Natural Area a beautiful thing.
The pair last week were named Hamilton’s Volunteers of the Year for their work improving the passive-use park along the Great Miami River in the Lindenwald neighborhood. While it’s true the couple has received help from hundreds of volunteers, it’s also true they’re working on the 200-acre wildlife haven nearly every day of the week.
“Troy and Kathy Schwable have poured their heart and soul into our Riverside Natural Area,” said Karen Wittmer, Hamilton’s program coordinator for volunteers. “They are there every day to make sure people can enjoy the trails and all the nature that surrounds them.”
Others also received praise for their volunteerism at the event:
Kathy Baker has volunteered more than 200 hours at Fort Hamilton Hospital since late 2016.
In addition to her hospital work, her Hamilton High School carpentry/construction teacher said she has worked at least 75 hours volunteering to build a garage at Joyce Park for the Hamilton Parks Conservancy.
She also has volunteered for, among other things, Habitat for Humanity; the YWCA Celebration of Outstanding Women; YWCA Christmas decorating; the Salvation Army Angel Tree program; Icefest; and the Fitton Family YMCA gymnastics competition.
Wittmer called Baker “an incredible young lady who loves to volunteer. She is involved in many things and loves to give back to her community.”
Kaitlyn Robinson, a Badin High School sophomore, has volunteered for various organizations, including Queen of Peace church, where she taught second-graders and prepared them for their First Communion.
She has also been involved in The Father’s House, a foster home facility on D Street. Connecting Badin to the facility, she has regularly taken groups of students to assist Daryl and Roxanne Gunnarson in preparing the home for the children and families who will live there. She has also helped conduct a donation drive to benefit My Father’s House.
Kaitlyn is also a member of Badin’s Ambassador Program and was co-captain of the junior varsity soccer team.
Wittmer said Robinson, in addition to volunteering herself, “has done a lot to get the Badin community involved in volunteering for this very special children’s home.”
Receiving the Community Service Award was Historic Hamilton, whose mission is to discover, preserve and memorialize Hamilton’s architecture and history, as well as inventory and purchase buildings and properties.
The organization, incorporated in 1979, has had several significant projects through the years, including: refurbishing Captain John Cleves Symmes’ gravesite; raising funds for the Lane-Hooven House restoration; revitalizing Hamilton’s historic Farmer’s Market; helping install historic bronze markers on the new High/Main Bridge; preserving the log cabin in Monument Park; and restoring the Crawford House, a 1949 farmhouse, along with the Hamilton Parks Conservancy.
The organization’s board of trustees includes Sonia August, David Belew, Mary Pat Essman, Polly Fairbanks, James Fuhrman, Susan Myers, Dick Scheid, Bob Sherwin, Karen Whalen, Bill Wilks, Armand Bloch and Shi O’Neill.