U.S. Department of the InteriorDOI News Header
Office of the Secretary
July 19, 2007
Heather Roebke (202) 208-3975
Ron Tull (202) 208-5089

C & O Canal Superintendent 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 in Washington, D.C. The individuals and groups from across the country were acknowledged 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.

Kevin D. Brandt, Superintendent of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, was recognized in the Federal Land Manager Category. Brandt consistently promoted volunteerism as a way for the park to build stewardship and further its mission. He regularly partners with communities for projects that benefit both the park and the surrounding areas. The park now features trail stewards, bike patrols, living history interpreters, docents, maintenance assistants, and visitor center assistants. Brandt lead volunteers to perform trail repairs, vegetation removal, painting, trash pickups, wayside exhibit installations and mulching. In one year, sixty-two projects were completed with the help of 1,318 volunteers and 4,128 service hours.

“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.

USA Freedom Corps Acting Director Kathy Wills Wright and Take Pride in America Executive Director Heather Roebke joined Deputy Secretary Scarlett in presenting the awards and Clint Eastwood, Take Pride spokesman, addressed the audience via a recorded video message.
The annual Take Pride in America national awards recognize specific volunteer projects and efforts in a variety of categories, including youth organization, corporation, public/ private partnership and individual, among others. These awards recognize events, projects and programs targeted at maintaining or enhancing public lands such as parks, rivers, wildlife refuges, cultural and historic sites, local playgrounds and other recreation areas.

Federal land managers were honored for innovative approaches to recruiting volunteers and cultivating their volunteer programs. This year’s awardees represent the National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation.

The Student Conservation Association was also recognized for their support of Take Pride. SCA is working to build the next generation of conservation leaders through internships and volunteer projects. The SCA recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

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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