Ham Lake man is snowmobile safety instructor of the year

Marvin Buchholz, of Ham Lake, has been named the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Snowmobile Volunteer Instructor of the Year for 2017.

During his almost 50 years as a volunteer instructor, Buchholz has instructed more than 2,500 youth and adults about how to operate snowmobiles safely and responsibly. In addition, he’s helped recruit and train more than 20 other certified instructors.

“The best example I can give of the quality and character of Marvin’s instruction is that Marvin is now teaching third and fourth generations of the same families,” said Kevin Vnuk, an instructor with Buchholz who nominated him for the award. “They keep coming back to Marvin’s class because of the quality and content of the class.”

He’s also a go-to person when it comes to addressing any concerns about snowmobiles in Ham Lake. Buchholz long has been active in his community, too, serving for 47 years as volunteer firefighter for the city of Ham Lake. In addition to being one of the department’s founders, he also was its longtime training officer. He’s also been a member of the Ham Lake Lions Club for more than 40 years.

“Marvin has been an active participant in the sport of snowmobiling for more than 50 years,” said Bruce Lawrence, recreational vehicle coordinator for the DNR Enforcement Division. “He has ridden more than 100,000 miles on snowmobiles and at age 75 still rides hundreds of miles every year.

More than 1,000 volunteer instructors teach DNR snowmobile safety courses across the state. For more information on the dates and locations of these courses, see an online list on the DNR’s snowmobile safety page or call 800-366-8917. For a copy of the 2017-2018 Minnesota Snowmobile Safety Laws, Rules and Regulations handbook, call 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367, or visit the snowmobile regulations page on the DNR website.