DOINews: Reclamation-Lower Colorado Region: Students Recognized for Work on Park and Trails Project

Last edited 09/05/2019

In an awards ceremony on April 30, high school students and faculty from the Academy of Building Industries in Fort Mohave, Ariz., received President's Volunteer Service Awards for their work on service projects for the Colorado River Heritage Greenway Park and Trails. The park and trails project, located along the Colorado River in Laughlin, Nev., is a partnership among the National Park Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, Clark County, the Laughlin Trails Partnership, and other federal, state and local groups.

Over a two-year period, the students completed work in three areas, for a total of nearly 4,500 hours of service. At the site of the original contractor's camp for Davis Dam workers, the students constructed an interpretive trail that will feature kiosks, panels and wayside points. They also did research to develop oral histories and information for the interpretive trail. Students in the high school's building classes constructed four recycling bins that were installed at several points in the park. Students in the design class created logos for the park and trail, which were presented to Clark County.

Education specialist Amanda Rowland and volunteer intern Candace Rambow of the National Park Service, which facilitated the program, conducted the awards ceremony. Rowland and Rambow introduced students and teachers, and handed out awards in three categories: Bronze Level, for 100 to 174 hours of service; Silver Level, for 175 to 249 hours of service; and Gold Level, for 250 or more hours of service.

Bronze Level recipients were students Ashley Cummings, Christopher McKinney, Cody McKinney, Brandon Steck, Morgan Surratt and Johanna Washington, and teacher Tyler Christensen. Silver Level recipients were student Destiney Fidler and teacher Manuel Ramirez. Gold Level recipients were student Gabriel Ortega, Vocational Director Coy O'Kelly and Principal Jean Thomas. Several other students will receive certificates at a later date.

Jason Kirby, a realty specialist for Reclamation, spent many hours working with the students on the park and trails project. Reclamation contributed $10,000 for materials and supplies, and provided technical oversight for the project. Kirby said the project highlighted how a broad group of stakeholder and partner groups can successfully work together to meet program goals.

“The students worked hard and had a great attitude,” said Kirby. He also praised student leader and point of contact Gabriel Ortega, who he said, “did a great job of leading by example.”

Nancy Bernard, National Park Service volunteer coordinator, said the contributions by students and teachers supported several efforts that federal agencies are involved in, including the America's Great Outdoors Initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move Outside" program, and the Department of Interior's Youth in the Great Outdoors programs.

“These initiatives focus on connecting Americans to special places like the Colorado River Heritage Greenway Park and Trails,” said Bernard.

President George W. Bush established the President's Volunteer Service Award program in 2002 to honor volunteers who give hundreds of hours per year helping others. The program was created as a way “to renew interest in helping our neighbors and call upon all Americans to help by volunteering their time.” The awards include an official President's Volunteer Award pin for the award category, a personalized certificate of achievement, and a note of congratulations from the President of the United States.

Jason Kirby of the Bureau of Reclamation addresses ceremony attendees.
Val Simon from the Bureau of Reclamation presents a letter of appreciation to Academy of Building Industries Principal Jean Thomas.
Amanda Rowland of the National Park Service and Bill Martin of the Bureau of Reclamation display logos designed by Academy of Building Industries students.
Amanda Rowland and Candace Rambow of the National Park Service recognize student leader and point of contact Gabriel Ortega for his achievement.
Students and faculty from the Academy of Building Industries pose with their awards.

Submitted by: Reclamation Public Affairs

May 19, 2014

Read this story on the Department of the Interior's blog here.

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