Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Secretary Dirk Kempthorne honors 2008 National Take Pride in America Award Winners

Our own Superintendent, Dave Uberuaga, was honored last Friday for his support of our volunteer program (which, according to one of our staff members, makes this a "trifecta," along with our Cooperative Conservation Award for partnerships and our George B. Hartzog Jr. Award for outstanding volunteer program service):

Washington, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne recognized the 2008 Take Pride in America National Award recipients at a ceremony Friday, July 18 in Washington, D.C. Individuals and groups from across the country were recognized for their outstanding contributions to local, state, and federal public lands. This year, there were fifteen National Award winners representing twelve states and the District of Columbia.

"This is a remarkable group of volunteers," Secretary Kempthorne said. "These men and women have left lasting legacies of service on our public lands, and truly show the impact that a committed group of volunteers can make on the environment and lands around them."

Take Pride in America Executive Director Katie Loovis joined Secretary Kempthorne in presenting the awards, and Clint Eastwood, Take Pride spokesman, addressed the audience via a recorded message.

"Take Pride in America takes great pleasure in honoring this year’s award winners," said Loovis. "These volunteers have answered the President’s Call to Service; it is on behalf of a grateful nation that we honor them today."

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, individual, and several others. These awards recognize efforts 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 also honored for their innovative approaches to recruiting volunteers and cultivating their volunteer programs. This year’s awardees represent the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management.

In addition, First Lady Laura Bush was granted the Spirit of Take Pride award. This award recognizes Mrs. Bush’s sustained commitment to promoting the appreciation and stewardship of America’s public lands. Through her dedication to the Junior Ranger program, First Bloom, and Preserve America, she has fostered a greater ethic of stewardship throughout our country, and for that, Take Pride is proud to recognize her contributions and service.

Take Pride in America is a national service initiative authorized by Congress to promote the appreciation and stewardship of public lands. Take Pride in America is active in all fifty states, has partnerships with public, private, and nonprofit organizations, and features Clint Eastwood as its national spokesman. Take Pride in America encourages citizen stewardship through an innovative public awareness campaign and an interactive website that showcases volunteer opportunities at natural and cultural sites. In addition, Take Pride in America is a leader in the field of Voluntourism, and uses its website and partnerships to offer opportunities across the country.

For more information, visit www.TakePride.gov.

2008 Take Pride in America National Award Winners

Charles Holbrook
Federal Land Manager
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Austwell, TX

Dorie Murphy
Federal Land Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Fort Worth, TX

Lynda Roush
Federal Land Manager
Bureau of Land Management; Arcata, CA

Warren Sedlacek
Federal Land Manager
Bureau of Reclamation; Cascade, ID

David V. Uberuaga
Federal Land Manager
National Park Service; Mount Rainier, WA

John V. Webb
Outstanding Individual Volunteer
Folkston, GA

Will Schoenhals
Outstanding Youth Volunteer
Broken Arrow, OK

The Young Men of the Yuma, Arizona Stake
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Outstanding Faith Based Group
Yuma, AZ

Holy Trinity Episcopal School
Outstanding Schools Program
Houston, TX

National Public Lands Day
Outstanding Non-Profit Organization
Washington, D.C.

The Trash Dogs
Outstanding Public Private Partnership
Brookings, OR

Sabre Holdings Travelocity Division and The City of Grapevine Parks & Recreation Department
Outstanding Public Private Partnership
Grapevine, TX

Take Pride in America in Southern Nevada
Outstanding State Volunteer Program
Las Vegas, NV

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
Outstanding Federal Volunteer Program
Vienna, VA

The Charles C. Hart Seed Company
Outstanding Corporation
Wethersfield, CT

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