Hill wins Heritage award

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Jayne Hill's dedication to historic preservation and the Tread of Pioneers Museum are the stuff of legend, her colleagues say.

Hill was recognized for her work Thursday, when the Steamboat Springs City Council announced that she is the winner of this year's Steamboat Springs Heritage Award.

The award is given every other year to outstanding volunteers in human services, open space preservation, maintenance of community character and other areas.

Hill, who was born in Fort Morgan, moved to Steamboat Springs in 1977, and, after teaching, worked as the Steam--boat Springs High School's librarian for 17 years.

In 1997, Hill led the effort to move and renovate the Utterback house, which was moved down Oak Street to become an addition to the Tread of Pioneers Museum. Hill helped raise $200,000 in less than two weeks for the project.

Two years later, Hill led the effort to restore the Mesa Schoolhouse, which sits at the base of Rabbit Ears Pass. The effort started her involvement with Historic Routt County. She later joined the organization's board.

Hill is known in the historical preservation community for organizing and leading the countywide Museum and Heritage Fund mill-levy campaign in 2003. She organized volunteers, provided information to the public and raised support for the mill levy, which voters approved as a way to provide revenue for the preservation organizations in Routt County.

"Jayne is an inspiration to all of us who live in the valley and value the heritage of our community," City Council President Ken Brenner said.

Hill also has served on the board of directors of the Tread of Pioneers Museum for most of the past 16 years.

Candice Lombardo, executive director of the museum, said Hill has been an immense help.

"She's just wonderful," Lombardo said. "It's volunteerism that doesn't stop."

Hill quietly accepted the recognition Thursday.

"I'm completely surprised, flattered and honored," Hill said. She said she thanks everyone who was involved with the endeavors she's undertaken.

Hill will receive the award during a formal presentation this summer.

Previous winners of the Heritage Award, which was first given in 2000, are John Fetcher, Kevin Bennett and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

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