Hunter Botanic Gardens founder Kevin Stokes from Toronto has been named the 2021 Hunter Volunteer of the Year.

The NSW Volunteer Awards are run by the Centre for Volunteering who awarded Mr Stokes with the Senior Volunteer of the Year for his work with the Botanic Gardens.

“Kevin Stokes is one of the founding fathers of the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens and its longest serving volunteer, with 36 years of continuous service.

“Kevin’s leadership has seen the Gardens overcome many obstacles over the years, including financial difficulties, drought and COVID-19 restrictions.

“His knowledge of plants, particularly Australian Native plants, and willingness to share his knowledge is legendary,” The Centre for Volunteering said.

Centre for Volunteering CEO Gemma Rygate commended the volunteers for their new and innovative ways of continuing their work throughout the pandemic.