WASHINGTON D.C. — Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett today recognized the 2007 Take Pride in America National Award recipients at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. The individuals and groups from across the country were acknowledged for their outstanding contributions to local, state and federal public lands. This year, there were 18 National Award winners representing 12 states and the District of Columbia.
The Antietam National Battlefield Volunteers were recognized in the Federal Volunteer Program category for their enormous force of dedicated volunteers that have helped to beautify and protect Antietam National Battlefield, ensure its historical accuracy and visitor accessibility. At 2,048 people, the immense size of the volunteer force has allowed it to donate 23,865 hours in the last year alone. The program removed trash from roads and trails, planted trees, constructed fences, and maintained the historic houses. A group of middle school students scrubbed every headstone in the Antietam National Cemetery in preparation for Memorial Day. Nine hundred volunteers placed 23,410 candles during the Annual Illumination in December, accounting for nearly 10,000 volunteer hours. The group also has Living History Volunteers, who provide formal and informal interpretations during the Annual Torchlight Tour, in camp, and during firing demonstrations. Natural Resource volunteers also assisted with scene restoration, cedar seedling removal, and tree planting.
“These are extraordinary individuals and organizations who have tapped into the power of volunteerism to enhance our public lands and improve the experiences of visitors to those lands,” Deputy Secretary Scarlett said.
USA Freedom Corps Acting Director Kathy Wills Wright and Take Pride in America Executive Director Heather Roebke joined Deputy Secretary Scarlett in presenting the awards and Clint Eastwood, Take Pride spokesman, addressed the audience via a recorded video message.
The annual Take Pride in America national awards recognize specific volunteer projects and efforts in a variety of categories, including youth organization, corporation, public/ private partnership and individual, among others. These awards recognize events, projects and programs targeted at maintaining or enhancing public lands such as parks, rivers, wildlife refuges, cultural and historic sites, local playgrounds and other recreation areas.
Federal land managers were honored for innovative approaches to recruiting volunteers and cultivating their volunteer programs. This year’s awardees represent the National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation.
The Student Conservation Association was also recognized for their support of Take Pride. SCA is working to build the next generation of conservation leaders through internships and volunteer projects. The SCA recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.
2007 Take Pride in America National Award Winners by Category.
- Carolle and Glenn Aldinger; Chincoteague, VA
- Marlene M. Lugg; Winnetka, CA
- James C. Thompson; Ardmore, OK
- The Friends of Hunting Island State Park, Inc. Loggerhead Sea Turtle Conservation Project; Saint Helena Island, SC
- California Golden Trout Restoration Program; Golden Trout Wilderness, CA
- Antietam National Battlefield Volunteers; Sharpsburg, MD
- Wetlands Education Team; West Geauga Middle School, Chesterland, OH
- The Power Washers of North America; Quakertown, PA
State Event / Program
- Lake Wales Ridge Rangers; Lake Placid, FL
Local Government Event
- City of Clifton Clean Communities Program; Clifton, NJ
Youth / Youth Group
- Riley’s Lockhouse Docents; Hagerstown, MD
- Arapahoe and Aurora Colorado Stakes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Federal Land Manager
- Kevin D. Brandt, Superintendent, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, National Park Service; Hagerstown, MD
- Tara Whitsel, Park Ranger, Raystown Lake, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Hesston, PA
- Steve Brimm, Project Leader, D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Spearfish, SD
- Thomas M. Pogacnik, Wild Horse and Burro Program Manager, California State Office, Bureau of Land Management; Sacramento, CA
- Jack Simes, External Coordination Manager, Lower Colorado Region, Yuma Area Office, Bureau of Reclamation: Yuma, AZ
Outstanding Take Pride Supporter
- Student Conservation Association