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Brianna Machuga Receives Top Honors from the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation

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Date: February 22, 2013
Contact: Mary Pat Doorley, CVNP, 440-343-7355
Contact: Lisa Meranti, Conservancy, 570-778-0663

Hartzog Winner Brianna Machuga
Brianna Machuga receives award from NPS Director Jon Jarvis.
NPS

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Volunteer Program Building a Community of Park Stewards

Brecksville, Ohio - Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) volunteer Brianna Machuga was honored at an evening ceremony on Thursday, February 21 in Washington, D.C. The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation presented the George and Helen Hartzog Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service-Youth Award to Brianna for her extraordinary efforts as a youth volunteer at CVNP.

Brianna Machuga was nominated by Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) Volunteer Coordinator Sherri Lemley. Brianna volunteers as an actress, office assistant, and program assistant for youth and special event programs, which include Underground Railroad and the Polar Express™. In 2011, Brianna approached CVSR with an idea to collect winter gear for area homeless shelters from Polar Express™ volunteers and attendees. Brianna was able to deliver 140 coats and over 300 hats, gloves, and scarves to local shelters. Brianna is a resident of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and is a junior at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.

"We are very proud that Brianna Machuga was the recipient of the national Outstanding Volunteer Service-Youth Award. Her initiative to combine a holiday program with giving back to the community is inspiring. Brianna is a role model for area teens on how to engage and support the national park in their backyard," said CVNP Superintendent Stan Austin. "Her award is a testimony to the continued support and growth of the volunteer program, which reached 5,900 volunteers last year. We are very pleased to have Brianna represent the park's volunteer program in Washington."

Photos and additional information about the Hartzog Awards are available www.nps.gov/news and http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/hartzog-awards.htm.

About the Volunteers-in-Parks Program
CVNP's VIP program is co-managed by the National Park Service and the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Together, they accomplish park goals through mutually beneficial volunteer experiences and engage people in the park, building a community of park stewards. Currently more than 5,900 VIPs donate over 202,400 hours to provide the highest level of quality services to park visitors and to help protect America's heritage.

To join these volunteers in making a difference at CVNP, contact the volunteer office at volunteer@forcvnp.org, 330-657-2299, or visit conservancyforcvnp.org. Many opportunities are available and training is provided.

About the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a non-profit organization created to engage public support for the park and provide services to enhance public use and enjoyment of the park. For more information about the Conservancy and its programs, visit www.conservancyforcvnp.org or call 330-657-2909.

About Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. Managed by the National Park Service, CVNP combines cultural, historical, recreational, and natural activities in one setting. For more information visit www.nps.gov/cuva or call 330-657-2752.

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Download a pdf of this news release.

Download a high resolution photo of Brianna Machuga.

Did You Know?

Photo of Bald Eagle taken in Cuyahoga Valley National Park where an eagle pair built their first nest in 2006. Photo by Martin Trimmer.

November is the time to be on the lookout for bald eagles performing aerial courtship displays. Once eagles have selected each other, they plunge through the air in very high dives, locking their talons and breaking apart just when it looks as though they will crash to the ground.