to The Observer
The Alabama State Parks Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will again recognize special contributors to the parks with its prestigious Eagle Awards.
Nominations for the sixth annual Eagle Awards are open online at alapark.com/eagle-awards and the awards will be presented in five categories: Elected Official, Community Partner, Park Partner, Volunteer in Parks (VIP) and Youth (students 12th grade and younger). Deadline for submitting nominations is Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022.
“Everyone in the Alabama State Parks Division understands our parks could not shine without the help of individuals and groups who help us throughout the year,” said Parks Director Greg Lein. “It’s a challenge to select the Eagle Award winners every year because we have so many people who give so much of themselves to help the parks thrive, but it’s always wonderful to honor them during an Eagle Awareness Weekend at Lake Guntersville State Park.”
Here are brief descriptions of the Eagle Awards categories:
ELECTED OFFICIAL: This award honors an elected official who has worked in conjunction with the parks to help fulfill its mission to preserve natural areas, operate recreational facilities and extend the public’s knowledge of the state’s natural environment.
COMMUNITY PARTNER: Parks succeed with the cooperation and support of community organizations such as other government organizations, chambers of commerce, tourism organizations and local businesses — groups that understand that the success of the park means success for the community.
PARK PARTNER: Organizations work to provide or maintain amenities in the parks, such as hiking and biking trails, that otherwise might not exist due to the allocation of resources for other services. This award celebrates those partners who see a need and cooperate with park leadership to fill it.
VOLUNTEER IN PARKS: These VIPs work in various ways to make our parks system better. Volunteers may be providing physical labor or strategic planning to improve one park, or the entire system of parks.
YOUTH: Our parks inspire young — and old — alike, but the impression left on youngsters often lives with them forever. Many turn their love of the parks, of the outdoors, into projects to benefit some of their favorite places — often as part of a Scouting program. This award, for students 12th grade and younger, honors the person whose contribution is extraordinary.
Winners will be honored during Eagle Awareness Weekend set for Jan. 28 through 30, 2022, at Lake Guntersville State Park.
ABOUT ALABAMA’S STATE PARKS SYSTEM
The Alabama State Parks is a division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and maintains 21 state parks encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water in Alabama. The parks range from Gulf Coast beaches to the Appalachian Mountains and provide opportunities and facilities from basic day-use activities to resort convention lodging, restaurants and golfing areas. These parks rely on visitor fees and the support of other partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. Make reservations at www.alapark.com/online-reservations and learn more at www.alapark.com. Partners Pay the Way.