U.S. Department of the InteriorDOI News Header

July 19, 2007
Contacts: Heather Roebke (202) 208-3975
Ron Tull (202) 208-5089

Local Group Wins 2007 Take Pride in America® National Award

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 Thursday, July 19 in Washington, D.C. The individuals and groups from across the country were recognized 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.

Representing Colorado was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Aurora and Arapahoe Stakes who won in the category of Best Faith-Based Volunteer Program. The two stakes joined together on Colorado Cares Day in order to beautify and maintain the Aurora Reservoir. 1 ,000 volunteers installed miles of fence, restored water-area habitats, cleaned up an old farm site, and pulled noxious weeds out of the Reservoir. Eight thousand feet of post and cable fence were constructed in 5 hours of work, which would ordinarily take months to complete. The LDS families and their partners also created wetland ecosystems along drainage areas to catch run-off, providing great benefits for humans and wildlife alike. At the end of the day, 280 cottonwoods, 800 aquatic shrubs and sedges, and 500 willow trees were planted. The Aurora and Arapahoe Stakes are stewards of the land, and the Aurora Reservoir is a shining result of their hard work and focus.

“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.

Take Pride in America®, an initiative of the U.S. Department of the Interior, is a nationwide partnership program which inspires Americans to volunteer in caring for their public lands. Their goal is to instill an active sense of ownership and responsibility in every citizen for natural, cultural and historic resources, and to support and recognize the efforts of those who volunteer for public lands. Through a web-based search engine, Take Pride offers a database of short-term and long-term volunteer projects on public lands, as well as assistance for project planning. Additionally, Take Pride rewards exceptional volunteer service by individuals and groups with awards and appreciation certificates. It’s Your Land, Lend a Hand! For more information, visit www.TakePride.gov.

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

Non-Profit Organization

  • The Friends of Hunting Island State Park, Inc. Loggerhead Sea Turtle Conservation Project; Saint Helena Island, SC

Public/Private Partnership

  • California Golden Trout Restoration Program; Golden Trout Wilderness, CA

Federal Event/Program

  • Antietam National Battlefield Volunteers; Sharpsburg, MD

School Program

  • 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

Faith-Based Group

  • 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

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