Each year, the National Park Service recognizes those who provided Outstanding Volunteer Service with presentation of the George and Helen Hartzog Awards.
This year’s recipients were taken from among the 196,000 volunteers who contributed 5.9 million hours in service to the national parks. The Hartzog Individual Volunteer Award was given to Tony Valois of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area whose expertise in photography, botany and computer programming were invaluable in creating a web-based guide to park wildflowers. Valois contributed more than 700 photographs to the guide.
The Glacier Centennial Program won the Hartzog Volunteer Group Award for implementing Glacier National Park’s centennial celebration effort. Over 1,000 hours were contributed resulting in significant reductions in emissions by area businesses, development of centennial products, a contest involving 113 artists and a book involving 240 authors.
The Hartzog Youth Volunteer Award went to 16-year-old Holly Marsh who worked over 270 hours as a volunteer at the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. She co-lead programs that helped 2,100 children become Junior Rangers and interacted with park visitors, even playing the role of the park mascot, Freddy the Flathead Catfish.
Winning the Hartzog Park Volunteer Program Award was the Lake Mead National Recreation Area Volunteers-in-Parks Program whose 4,050 volunteers gave 122,200 hours of their time, providing visitor services, maintenance, law enforcement, resource protection and administrative support, including such efforts as inspecting for invasive quagga and zebra mussels, ridding the park of over 33 tons of garbage and implementing innovative park environmental restoration projects.
To read more about these winners and the NPS’ VIP programs, CLICK HERE.