Geoff and Sandy Freethey have been named Volunteers of the Year by the national office of the Bureau of Land Management. They are two of 12 people honored nationwide this year. (Photo by Scott Escott)

A Moab couple has been honored for their volunteer work by the national office of the Bureau of Land Management.

Geoff and Sandy Freethey were named one of two outstanding couples nationally and were among only 12 total honorees.

They were the only Utahans to be honored.

“We greatly appreciate being nominated and are honored to receive the BLM’s volunteer award for 2012,” Sandy Freethey said. “It is a pleasure working closely with the many helpful people at the Moab BLM office, especially Katie Stevens. We are fortunate to work with this group of individuals.”

Stevens nominated the Freetheys largely for their work with Trail Mix, a volunteer group that builds and maintains non-motorized trails in the area for hikers, bikers, skiers, runners and horseback riders.

Sandy Freethey is the current Trail Mix chairwoman.

Trail Mix workers spend four days a week, year-round, on Moab’s trails. This includes scouting areas for new trails, building proposals for new trails, working with the BLM to gain approval for each new trail and then building the trail. After that, Trail Mix workers help maintain the trails.

Because of all that work and more, Stevens said, the Freetheys well deserve the honor.

“Jeff and Sandy have volunteered for probably as long as I’ve lived in Moab on various projects,” Stevens said. “Besides their work with Trail Mix, they’ve just jumped in and helped with all sorts of things.”

Jeff Freethey helped Moab BLM staff members design the Hittle Bottom boat ramp by studying water flows for them, Stevens said.

And when weeds started growing on the paved bike paths, the Freetheys got right to work organizing teams to pull those weeds.

“They’ve just pitched in and helped on a myriad of projects,” Stevens said. “They’re always ready to help. They just work continually for the betterment of the community.”

The Freetheys said the award should be shared with many of their trail builders and volunteers “who are helping to reshape Moab’s image as a destination place for singletrack trails.

“We love the variety of skills and challenges that trail development involves,” they said, “working with a variety of people, making compromises, scouting the potential trail, physically building the trails and making the signs that will mark the trails.”