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Larimer County Natural Resources employee Bill Wilson is the recipient of the 2021 Ranger Brendan Unitt Community Service Award. Wilson is a gatehouse attendant at Horsetooth Mountain Park, one of the busiest parks and trailheads in the Larimer County Park system. Each day he interacts with hundreds of customers and consistently exhibits dedication and professionalism to the public, with an expansive knowledge of Larimer County Parks. He helps others to improve their interpersonal relationships and encourages those around him to serve others and to make a positive impact in our community.
Before his current position with Natural Resources, Wilson worked 14 years for the City of Fort Collins Parks and Recreation Department, ensuring the health and safety of the city’s open spaces. Wilson is also a small business owner and a veteran who honorably served in the Vietnam war with the 120th Engineering Division, 45th Infantry Battalion as a medivac medic.
Wilson continues to honor our veterans by planning the annual Veterans Day Breakfast at the Fort Collins Senior Center while also volunteering his time throughout the year working in various activities with veterans. An avid angler, he also volunteers his time working in Larimer County’s Catch a Special Thrill, [CAST] a foundation that enriches the lives of special needs children through sport fishing.
With over 3,000 hours of volunteer work in CAST, the Colorado Bass Nation nominated him for the National CAST Humanitarian Award. Wilson was president of the Centennial Bass Club for six years and also coordinated their Full Moon Open Tournament for 20 years, to promote good stewardship of our area & rivers and lakes, improving fishing habitat at Lon Hagler Reservoir and Boyd Lake. He was chosen from 14 nominees for the award, which reach across many community organizations in Larimer County including The Thompson School District, Poudre School District, Colorado State University, LatinX Advisory Board, Interfaith Council of Fort Collins, and Centennial Bass Club.
The Ranger Brendan Unitt Award is an award given to a community member in honor of fallen Ranger Brendan Unitt who demonstrates a passion to serve their community through selfless acts of community service. Unitt was a Larimer County Natural Resources Ranger who lost his life while rescuing distressed swimmers during a sudden severe storm at Horsetooth Reservoir. He served his community in many ways outside of his regular ranger position, volunteering in many organizations. A graduate of Windsor High School, he served honorably in the United States Marine Corps with a tour in Afghanistan and was a 2019 graduate of Colorado State University.