Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact:Joan Moody
For Immediate Release:September 26, 2003
Take Pride in America and Presidential Awards
Presented To Outstanding Volunteers

WASHINGTON--Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton today gave national awards to 15 individuals and groups whom she named as model volunteers under the Take Pride in America campaign, which encourages citizen stewardship of public lands and resources.

Take Pride in America is part of President Bush's USA Freedom Corps, dedicated to fostering a culture of service to others. John Bridgeland, Director of USA Freedom Corps, presented the winners with the President's Service Award at the ceremony, which was held in the Department of the Interior headquarters.

"These winners represent the epitome of good citizenship," said Secretary Norton. "Just as good neighbors in the past few weeks have helped others to protect and restore their homes from Hurricane Isabel, these volunteers have helped to protect, defend and restore our nation's natural and cultural treasures. They give all of us an example of what it means to be good stewards of our lands and our history."

Supported by numerous private associations and organizations, Take Pride in America is a national partnership that aims to inspire a new generation of volunteers to put their love of country to work to improve our national parks, wildlife refuges, public lands, cultural and historic sites, playgrounds and other recreation areas.

Secretary Norton launched the Take Pride in America program on April 16, 2003, at the National Press Club. On June 27, Norton named Marti Allbright, former chief deputy attorney general of Colorado, as the director.

"Take Pride in America has struck a chord with people all over the country and has already enlisted more than a 100 charter partners - including major corporations, conservation groups, service organizations, trade associations and a bipartisan coalition of state governors, senators and members of Congress," says Allbright. Partnerships with state governments encourage federal and state land managers to cooperate in identifying volunteer opportunities and to encourage public participation in the care of public lands and resources.

Corporations, civic organizations, community groups, youth groups and individuals can participate in Take Pride in America projects and events, such as cleanup days, or they can commit blocks of volunteer service time to local restoration efforts. For more information, go to

Take Pride in America recognizes volunteers with individual awards based on hours of service as well as the annual national awards, such as those presented today, in recognition of outstanding stewardship in 2002. Take Pride in America received more than 100 nominations for national award projects.

The winners were selected in six categories, including youth groups, constituent organizations, educational institutions, individuals, public/private partnerships and business. They include the following:

Business Category
Salt River Tubing and Recreation Inc.
Mesa, Ariz.

Constituent Organizations
Wally Byam Caravan Club International
Camp Hill, Pa.

Pymatuning Lake Association
Espyville, Pa.

Hillsboro, Ore.

Massachusetts Community Water Watch
Boston, Mass.

Individual Category
Clay and Dixie Gatchel
Puyallup, Wash.

Diane Novakowski
Flint, Mich.

Joe and Betty White
White River, Ariz.

Educational Institutions
Camdenton Middle School 8th Grade
Camdenton, Mo.

Chico Junior High School
Chico, Calif.

Partnerships Category
Denali Mountaineering Volunteers
Denali Park, Alaska

New York Restoration Project
New York, N.Y.

Volunteer for Outdoor Colorado
Denver, Colo.

Youth Category
Hatchery Helpers
Spearfish, S.D.

Venture Crew 220 - Boy Scouts of America
Van Nuys, Calif.


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