Secretary Salazar Presents NPS Employees with Partners in Conservation Award for "Making Friends" Guidebook

Last edited 09/29/2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today presented a Partners in Conservation Award to five employees in the National Park Service's offices in Omaha, Nebraska, and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia for their work in creating the “Making Friends” Guidebook. The handbook gives tips for creating, growing and managing one of the Friends Groups set up to help local national parks.

Rich Fedorchak of Harpers Ferry and four Omaha employees -- Mary Hanson, Roger Knowlton, Michael D. Pflaum and Marty Sterkel -- share one of 26 national awards to individuals and organizations presented at a ceremony at Interior headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The 26 Partners in Conservation Awards recognize conservation achievements resulting from the cooperation and participation of a total of 600 individuals and organizations including landowners; citizens' groups; private sector and nongovernmental organizations; and federal, state, local, and/or tribal governments.

“The Partners in Conservation Awards demonstrate that our greatest conservation legacies often emerge when stakeholders, agencies, and citizens from a wide range of backgrounds come together to address shared challenges,” the Secretary said. “This valuable National Park Service publication aims to shed light on the fundamental aspects of creating a partnership and it can also be a guide for existing Friends Groups to increase their capabilities.”

Friends Groups are established to help support interpretive, educational, and scientific activities through fundraising, membership programs, and awareness building. The handbook includes organizational development tips, sample agreements, model case studies, checklists, and lists of contacts and resources to assist in the building of Friends Groups.

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