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Awards and Recognition

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Take Pride in America gives 2005 awards for excellence

Volunteers and public land supprters honored by Take Pride in America;
From the Fall 2005 issue of Trail Tracks, the magazine of American Trails

The Take Pride in America Awards honor those who best maintain and enhance our public lands, including parks, forests, grasslands, wildlife refuges, cultural and historic sites, and other recreation areas. This year 25 award recipients from 16 states were recognized for efforts in a variety of categories.

"The individuals we honor today have surpassed simple duty and gone on to achieve excellence," Interior Secretary Gale Norton said about the honorees. "Today's winners have given their time, their labor and their commitment to the lands that belong to all Americans. It is these citizens who make this Nation great."

Of the many great people and projects recognized by the awards, we wanted to highlight some of those who are helping maintain and preserve trails across America:

Since 1995, the Continental Divide Trail Alliance (CDTA) has played a central role toward the completion, management, and protection of the Continental Divide Trail. Public service is the cornerstone of CDTA with programs that include Adopt-A-Trail, Youth Corp, Explorers, Crew Leader, Crew Chef, and Trail Building. In the last decade this allied effort has built 1,275 miles, 31 bridges, and 46 trailheads; with 43 volunteer projects offered in 2005. To learn more see www.CDTrail.org or call ( 888) 909-2382.

  • The 2004 Florida hurricane season left 1,180 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail closed and in need of highly specialized repair skills. USDA Forest Service trainers taught community volunteers the needed skills, and helped the Florida Trail Association meet their hurricane recovery pledge of 60,000 volunteer hours.

  • The Folsom-Auburn Trail Riders Action, a mountain biking club in northern California, organized volunteers to maintain the Foresthill Divide Loop Trail. Five miles of trail were cleared by club members and volunteers from the Bureau of Reclamation helping keep the extremely popular trail open for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

  • Over three years volunteers, youth corps, and other partners have built trails, removed invasive plants, and planted new wetlands at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary restoration project along the Mississippi River near St. Paul.

  • Friends of Anahuac Refuge raised funds and organized volunteers who constructed an attractive trail system that wanders through the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas Gulf Coast.

  • The Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) Program of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park grew from 1,847 volunteers to 2,396 in the past year, contributing an estimated value of $840,041. The VIP program is guided by one staff person and managed by an intern to engage youth, students and seniors in the bike patrol program, visitor center work, as a campground host, or a living history interpreter.

Read all the Take Pride in America award citations at www.funoutdoors.com.

AWARDS and recognition programs:

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