The Alabama State Parks System annually honors outstanding efforts in supporting the parks with the presentation of the Eagle Award. Each year's ceremony is typically held at Lake Guntersville State Park in January or February during their Eagle Awareness Programs.
Nominations for the 2019 Awards are now open (nomination link coming soon). Nominations may be submitted for five categories: Elected Official, Community Partner, Park Partner, Volunteer in Parks (VIP), and Youth.
Elected Official: Our parks are shining examples of important quality of life amenities and the strong economic drivers needed in our communities. The support of elected officials is critical to the success of our parks. 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: The parks cannot succeed without the cooperation and support of community organizations such as other government organizations, chambers of commerce, tourism organizations and local businesses. These groups understand that the success of the park means success for the community and work in many different ways to help the parks achieve their goals.
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. This award honors a person who gives of his or her time for the benefit of every person who visits the parks, all without any expectation of any recognition.
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.