Thursday, December 31, 2020

Nominations For PA Parks & Forests Foundation 2021 Annual Awards To Recognize COVID Champions Now Due Jan. 12

PA Parks and Forests Foundation is now accepting nominations through January 12 for their 2021 Annual Awards to recognize outstanding service, programs, and people to remind everyone of the exemplary work happening in our state parks and forests.

The foundation plans to distribute 50 awards across the Commonwealth are open to individuals of all ages, groups, organizations, businesses or companies who have worked especially hard to provide safe outdoor recreation areas for mental health and physical release during the COVID pandemic. 

The number of awards pays tribute to the 50th anniversary (May 18th) of the Environmental Rights Amendment added to the Pennsylvania constitution in 1971. The amendment states that: 

“The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”

Pennsylvania state parks and forests provide a safe space to improve our physical, mental, and emotional health. 

Our parks and forests also support local economies through visitations, consumer purchases of outdoor recreation equipment, and through projects and services at parks and forests.

The words of the ERA were never more evident than they were during 2020. Pennsylvanians instinctively knew that their right to clean air; pure water; and the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of their environment would see them through these difficult times. 

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation plans to celebrate both the anniversary of the ERA and the contributions of the people who made staying healthy during the pandemic possible with the COVID Champions.

Nominations are encouraged for awards to volunteers, Friends Groups, organizations, parks/forests staff members, business owners, medical providers, or elected or appointed officials who:

-- Went above and beyond to improve the visitor experience and create a welcoming environment;

 -- Created or continued an innovative program or project for user comfort, safety, or enjoyment; 

-- Worked to highlight the ongoing needs of our parks and forests even before the onset of the pandemic and the overwhelming use it brought to our public spaces; or 

-- Showed unusual leadership or creativity in support of their park or forest, or the outdoors in general.

“Spending time in the outdoors has long been recognized as a means for improving human health,” said Marci Mowery, President of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. “With the COVID Champions award program we look to recognize the innovative spirit, the commitment, and the tenacity of staff, volunteers, decision makers, and businesses who saw to it that our parks and forests remained safe and welcoming environments for all users.”

“Never has the value of our state parks and state forests shined brighter than during these most difficult times when we see unprecedented numbers seeking the needed solace and escape of the unspoiled outdoors,” said Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Our facilities never could meet that need without the invaluable services, programs and people recognized in these annual awards. We salute all and all that they do!” 

Click Here to submit a nomination or for more information.

For more information on programs, initiatives, special events and how you can get involved, 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 or tune in to their YouTube ChannelClick Here to become a member of the Foundation.

The Foundation and their 46 chapters mobilize 65,000 volunteers annually to steward YOUR state parks and forests.

Related Article This Week:

-- Walking Thru Old-Growth Forest At The Alan Seeger Natural Area In Huntingdon County

Related Articles:

-- State Parks Continue To Break Visitor Records In September: 4.7 Million Visitors, Up 31 percent Over Last Year

-- State, Regional, Local Outdoor Recreation ‘Through The Roof’ Across Pennsylvania

-- Op-Ed: Now Is The Time To Invest In Parks, Not Cut Them

-- 90% Of PA Voters Want Senate, House To Provide More Funding For Critical Environmental, Conservation Programs; That Didn’t Happen In 2020

-- $201,977,000 Diverted From Environment, Energy Funds To Balance FY 2020-21 State Budget

-- New Poll Shows 90% Of PA Voters Want Senate, House Members To Address Environmental, Conservation Priorities, Provide More Funding For Critical Programs

[Posted: December 31, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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