WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senior White House and Department of the Interior officials today honored 16 groups and individuals as the top national winners of the Take Pride in America® awards for outstanding accomplishments by volunteers.
“These individuals and groups are outstanding representatives for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who volunteer with the land management agencies at the state, local and national level and who participate in the Take Pride in America program,” said Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes.
Other dignitaries participating in the ceremony included Carlos Monje, Jr., Senior Policy Advisor for the White House Domestic Policy Council and Peachy Myers, White House Liaison of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The traditional categories for the awards recognize corporate, nonprofit and school volunteers and programs as well as those at the federal, state and local levels. (See following list of awards.)
In addition, National Park Service acting director Dan Wenk presented a special “Spirit of Take Pride” Award posthumously to Brian O'Neill, superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco for many years until his death in May 2009. O'Neill, who was at Golden Gate for almost three decades, built the park's volunteer program to its present level of 22,000 volunteers and was a noted park leader nationally. The award was accepted by O'Neill's son, Brent O'Neill, an NPS Environmental Protection Specialist at the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
2009 Take Pride in America® National Award Winners
Spirit of Take Pride
Brian O'Neill, Superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, CA (posthumously)
Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN
The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, San Francisco, CA
David E. Cooney, Sioux Falls, SD
Local Government Program
City of Kent – Parks & Public Works Departments
National Public Lands Day, a program of the National Environmental Education Foundation
Public Private Partnership
Diving with a Purpose – National Association of Black Scuba Divers, Nashville, TN
Dr. William H. “Bob” Bailey Middle School – Great Unconformity Bailey-Hickey Community Sponsorship program, Las Vegas, NV
Iowa Project AWARE 2008, Iowa City, IA
Lopez Island Conservation Corps, Lopez Island, WA
Federal Land Manager – Bureau of Land Management
Gary Reimer, Anchorage District, Anchorage, AK
Federal Land Manager – Bureau of Reclamation
Tracy Neal, New Melones Lake, CA
Federal Land Manager – National Park Service
Terry Kreidler, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, CA
Federal Land Manager – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Eric Garner, Abiquiu Lake, NM
Federal Land Manager – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Scott Glup, Litchfield Wetland Management District, MN
Federal Land Manager – U.S. Forest Service
The Spotted Bear Ranger District, Hungry Horse, MT
About Take Pride:
Take Pride in America®, is a nationwide partnership program authorized by Congress to promote the appreciation and stewardship of our nation's public lands. The Take Pride in America program is administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior for the benefit of all public lands at all levels of government nationwide.
In support of President Obama and Secretary Salazar's call to service, Take Pride in America is leading the U.S. Department of Interior's United We Serve initiative. Lisa Young is executive director. For more information , see www.takepride.gov.