Take Pride In America Program Rewards Volunteer Participation

Take Pride In Americaâ is a program that encourages citizens to dedicate time and service to help protect and restore resources and facilities in their area. The volunteer program seeks to reduce destructive behavior and encourage constructive activity on public lands.

Presented annually, national awards recognize specific volunteer projects and efforts in twelve categories. These awards, given for outstanding stewardship of public lands, honor those who best protect and/or enhance our public parks, forests, grasslands, reservoirs and wildlife refuges, as well as our cultural and historic sites, local playgrounds and other recreation areas. Finalists and winners are selected by a panel of reviewers, and the winners are honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, DC.

Take Pride In Americaâ is now accepting nominations for projects started and/or completed between January 1, 2003 and June 1, 2004. The deadline for submissions is 5:00 PM EST on June 30, 2004.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources supports the TPIA program and promotes wise stewardship of outdoor Alabama. “With State Parks, Wildlife Management Areas, State Public Fishing Lakes, many boat launch areas and other public lands within the Department’s responsibilities,” said Conservation Commissioner M. Barnett Lawley, “we appreciate the message of the Take Pride In Americaâ campaign, and encourage Alabamians to participate in worthy projects throughout the state.”

Under the TPIA banner, Alabama citizens are invited to Take Pride in Alabama. Many clubs and volunteer groups are already active in cleaning up roadsides, streams, and other public areas, ridding the scenery of unsightly trash carelessly discarded by others. Participants are encouraged to nominate their activities for national recognition.

The TPIA website www.takepride.gov offers information on the program and success stories from all over the nation. It also explains the application process to qualify for awards recognition. To reward volunteer participation, TPIA has many levels of recognition, including presidential recognition for individuals who have made exceptional contributions of time and service.

For more information about the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and its programs, log on to www.outdooralabama.com.