Friday, April 24, 2009

Big Bend National Park honors 29 volunteers at April 6th Awards Ceremony

As the spring season draws to a close at Big Bend, staff and volunteers gathered for a special lasagna dinner at the park headquarters Community Room which was transformed by the addition of flower arrangements and tablecloths. As everyone gathered for a social hour, the emphasis was on getting together and catching up on the news since some of the volunteers had not seen each other since orientation in January. The highlight of the evening was a slide show followed by the awards presentation.

The slide show highlighted the accomplishments and activities of the volunteers during the past three months. The 29 volunteers provided 8,825 service hours during February and March with work continuing through April. In addition to staffing visitor centers and campgrounds, volunteers assisted River Rangers, performed backcountry and fire patrol and contributed to various projects for Science and Resource Management.

An unknown author said, “No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” We are grateful for the time and energy that all the volunteers contribute here at Big Bend and hope that the Awards Ceremony was successful in conveying our appreciation.

Featured is NPS Interpreter Mary Kay Manning and volunteers Pat and Marshall McCall.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Checking in with Clifton

In 2007, the City of Clifton, New Jersey's Clean Communities program was recognized with a Take Pride in America National Award for their outstanding efforts in promoting volunteerism and public lands stewardship...and we are proud to say that they are still going strong! Clifton is home to 23 Take Pride Schools that continue to engage students in activities that benefit their schools and community as a whole.

Recently one of Clifton's outstanding citizen volunteers was recognized with the Presidential Volunteer Gold Service Award. Theresa Evans, a teacher at Christopher Columbus Middle School took on a beautification project that included over 900 personal volunteer hours! She also coordinated over 5,000 volunteer hours form students, parents, teachers and inmates from the Passaic County Jail. Together they transformed an overgrown courtyard into a beautiful outdoor haven for students. She also tackled the school grounds and they are now beautifully landscaped with trees, bushes, a cinder path, benches and picnic tables.

Theresa was honored at the annual Clean Communities awards ceremony that was held on March 12, 2009 at Clifton High School.

Photos of the school grounds before the beautification project...

Photos of all the hard work...

Photos of the school grounds after the beautification project...

It's amazing what the vision, dedication and hard work of one person can accomplish...especially when they have an army of volunteers behind them! Congratulations Theresa and thank you to the City of Clifton, NJ for continuing the mission and goals of the Take Pride in America program!