Clyde Kostelecky is known as something of a super volunteer at Northwest Trek.
That reputation and dedication have put him among three finalists for the fourth annual Cox Conserves Heroes award.
As a finalist, he’s already earned $2,500 for the Northwest Trek Foundation. If he’s the winner in online voting by the publicat kirotv.com/heroes, the foundation will be awarded an additional $7,500.
Metro Parks Tacoma, which operates Northwest Trek, garnered two of the three finalist spots in the Seattle-area competition. Along with Kostelecky, Lynette Scheidt has been a park volunteer for Metro for some four decades, a spokeswoman said. The third finalist is Laura James, a member of Sustainable West Seattle.
Kostelecky was nominated by Chip Heinz, operations and special projects manager at Northwest Trek. Heinz describes him as an extraordinary resource.
“He is not only a very active volunteer, but he also recognizes the great importance of volunteers and knows how to successfully lead others efficiently and effectively,” Heinz wrote in a formal nomination.
Kostelecky has planned and executed several projects at the wildlife park near Eatonville. He worked on the Hellyer Natural History Center, implemented safety measures for animal exhibits, and led work to complete Northwest Trek’s 4.8 mile Sweet Water Spring Trail, Heinz said.
“When Clyde plans a project, he plans it down to the smallest detail. He knows volunteer time is very valuable, and he respects and appreciates those who give their time,” Heinz said.
He added that Kostelecky’s work benefits Trek visitors and the environment by helping people understand and appreciate the link between humans and animals. His projects also promote Northwest Trek’s conservation message, according to Heinz.
In addition to his work at Northwest Trek, Kostelecky volunteers with the Morse Wildlife Preserve near Graham.
The Cox Conserves Heroes program is conducted by Seattle television station KIRO in partnership with The Trust for Public Land. Voting for the award began June 22 and continues through July 16, a spokesman for the program said.