Mike Zimmerman has been selected as Citizen of the Year 2015 for Marrowstone Island. He was presented with a certificate and the plaque engraved with his name by Sandy and Bob Barrett (citizens of …
Mike Zimmerman has been selected as Citizen of the Year 2015 for Marrowstone Island. He was presented with a certificate and the plaque engraved with his name by Sandy and Bob Barrett (citizens of the year 2013) at the Monday Jan. 18 Marrowstone Island Community Association (MICA) meeting.
When asked if he was surprised at receiving the honor, Zimmerman responded, “Absolutely yes, and I’m almost speechless at being honored, maybe it should be shared with all those who have really done the work.”
Each year since 1973 when Ed Richey was elected, this honor is awarded to Marrowstone residents who have given significant and long-lasting volunteer contributions to the island and/or Jefferson County. Mike and his family (wife Hope Borsato and sons Clayton and Reid) have been residents of the island for nearly 20 years, and he has just recently retired from being the head ranger at Fort Flagler State Park.
Zimmerman has worked both professionally and personally to improve the island community, according to a press release, having served both as vice president and president of MICA. While president, he helped develop the “Hello Pages,” a booklet created to inform residents and newcomers of the businesses and services that are offered on the island.
Zimmerman had a clear vision of the historical importance of Fort Flagler State Park, and spent countless hours developing strategies and completing projects. His passion and dedication helped lead the way to the creation of the Friends of Fort Flagler which was established as the state's first “Friends of Parks” entity. That group has since become a dedicated and invaluable group in restoring, maintaining, protecting and enhancing the former U.S. Army Coast Artillery fort. As a result of their work on the hospital building, the park was presented with the Mary P. Johnson award from the Jefferson County Historical Society in 2012. Under his guidance, the work done there, as well as in the entire park, has increased usage and enjoyment of the area by both visitors and island residents, according to a press release.
Some of the park projects which have been worked on or fully completed include: Improvement of officers’ housing, trails and signage, barracks for conferences, gun emplacements and batteries for increased access and understanding of the fort’s historic value, updating the hospital and creation of the museum and gift shop and improved water treatment facility. In addition to physical improvements, several special events have been initiated for the enjoyment of islanders, campers, and other county residents: the Halloween carnival for children and adults, summer concerts, the paragliding program with training and access, and the annual shellfish seminar helping to educate the public.
A dinner honoring the new citizen of the year will be held at the Nordland Garden Club at a date yet to be chosen.