The PA Parks & Forests Foundation is now accepting nominations for its Parks & Forests Awards through December 16. The categories include--
-- Cliff Jones Keystone Legacy Award—This top honor recognizes an outstanding contribution to the protection and/or enhancement to the park and forest system in Pennsylvania.
Past recipients: Civilian Conservation Corps members, Rose Eshelman, Joe Healey, William Forrey, Robert Griffith, Senator Franklin Kury, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Caren Glotfelty, Linda McKenna Boxx, Rob Wonderling.
-- Joseph Ibberson Government Award—The Ibberson Government Award is given to a person or department at any level of government to recognize their work in the stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state park and state forest systems.
Past recipients: DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis, Jerry Walls, Greg Schrum, DCNR’s State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan Team, DCNR’s Forest Assessment Team, James Grace, Representative William Adolph, Bushkill Township (Northampton County), Norman Lacasse, Penn Nursery.
-- President’s Award—The President’s Award is designed to recognize outstanding citizens or businesses who have made an impact in protecting open space, conservation, outdoor recreation or volunteerism.
Past recipients: Recreation Equipment Incorporated, Borough of Ohiopyle, Yellow Creek State Park, John and Jan Halter, Ralph Harrison, Deloitte, LLP (Philadelphia Office), Greenwood Furnace State Park Complex.
-- Park of the Year—The Park of the Year Award is designed to recognize a park for their exemplary or innovative work in any or all of the following: customer service; education, programming (e.g. events), or recreation; stewardship of the natural, cultural or historic assets; and/or accommodation of special needs of visitors.
Past recipients: Pymatuning State Park, Moraine State Park, Sinnemahoning State Park, Nockamixon State Park, Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Kinzua Bridge State Park, French Creek State Park, Prince Gallitzin State Park, Point State Park, Gifford Pinchot State Park.
-- Forest of the Year—The Forest of the Year Award is designed to recognize a forest district for its innovative and exemplary work in both forest management and recreation for a wide range of activities which include: the ability to provide opportunities for healthful, low-density recreational opportunities that are compatible with maintaining the integrity of forest ecosystems; to provide information and assistance to the public while ensuring public safety; and to promote and effectively use volunteers to enhance the Bureau of Forestry's recreational programming, planning and development activities.
Past recipients: Forbes State Forest, Tioga State Forest, William Penn State Forest, Michaux State Forest, Susquehannock State Forest, Elk State Forest, Tiadaghton State Forest, Gallitzin State Forest, Buchanan State Forest, Tuscarora State Forest.
-- Volunteerism Awards—Up to three awards per year can be given for recognition of achievements made by PPFF chapters, individuals or volunteer groups. Awardees are chosen from all nominations by a PPFF committee made up of PPFF board and non-board members.
These awards honor organizations or individuals that have made a lasting, positive impression on the park or forest that they serve and that have advanced the mission of the PA Parks and Forests Foundation and the DCNR. The three award categories are:
1. Volunteerism Award: The winner attracts and nurtures volunteers and actively engages them in a wide range of projects, logged in significant volunteer hours in proportion to the size and location of the park or forest, or has developed an innovative volunteer program.
Past recipients: Friends of Codorus State Park, Mountaineer Search and Rescue, Friends of Ohiopyle, Friends of Prince Gallitzin, Friends of Mt. Pisgah, Mid-Atlantic Karst Conservancy (the Cavers of the Forbes State Forest), Nockamixon Trail Group, Gifford Pinchot State Park, Friends of Nolde Environmental Education Center, Helen Maurella, SONS of Lake Erie, Stephen Smetana.
2. Improvement Award: The winner has completed capital improvement projects that benefited the park or forest and or users, provided ongoing maintenance or improvements to trails, buildings, etc. or innovatively protected the natural or cultural heritage of the park or forest.
Past recipients: The Miller Family, Friends of the Delaware Canal, Friends of Shikellamy, Friends of Ridley Creek, Tom Scully, Friends of the State Line Serpentine Barrens, Paul Yost and the Friends of Milton State Park, Kathy and Gary Diegan, Warren Renninger, Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Ridge Runners.
3. Education Award: The winner provides ongoing educational support or programming, provides a stewardship message through events and programs, and/or organizes events that support the park and/or the gateway communities.
Past recipients: Cherry Springs Dark Sky Fund, Friends of Laurel Hill State Park, Friends of Colonel Denning, Friends of M.K. Goddard State Park, John Salvetti, Gwen and Bud Wills, Pat and Carl Leinbach, Promised Land State Park’s Nature Arts and Crafts Program Volunteers, Friends of Black Moshannon State Park, Pam Karhan (Cherry Springs Dark Sky Association).
-- Young Volunteer of the Year—This award recognizes a significant contribution to a park or forest by a person under the age of 25. The contribution could be in volunteer hours, a significant project, an innovative idea, or more. Past recipients: Paul Mickle, Hailey Freeman, Ellie Davis, Kayce Bobnar.
Click Here for more on the Awards Program and for a nomination form. Questions should be directed to contact Marci Mowery by calling 717-236-7644 or send email to: email@example.com.For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the PA Parks & Forests Foundation website. Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Foundation, Like them on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter.