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    Cuyahoga Valley

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Cuyahoga Valley National Park Volunteer Wins Regional Award

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Date: October 16, 2012
Contact: Mary Pat Doorley, CVNP, 440-546-5995, 440-343-7355 (cell)
Contact: Lisa Meranti, Conservancy, 330-657-2364

Brianna Machuga

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

Brecksville, Ohio - Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) and the Conservancy for CVNP are proud to announce Brianna Machuga as the winner of the National Park Service (NPS) Midwest Region's George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service-Youth Award. Brianna's nomination form has been forwarded to the NPS Washington Office for consideration of the national youth volunteer award. The competition was among 57 parks in the Midwest region.

Brianna Machuga was nominated by Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) Volunteer Coordinator Sherri Lemley. Brianna volunteers with Cuyahoga Valley National Park 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 our own Brianna Machuga is a regional winner for the Outstanding Volunteer Service-Youth Award. Her initiative to combine a holiday program with giving back to the community is inspiring. We wish her the best of luck for the national award," said Stan Austin, Superintendent, Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

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 5,700 VIPs donate over 154,800 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 www.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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Brianna Machuga Photo

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Did You Know?

Historic photo of canal boat on the Ohio & Erie Canal.

Lock 27 along the Ohio & Erie Canal became known as Johnnycake Lock after several boats ran aground due to flooding. While stranded, supplies ran low and canal passengers and crew ate only corn meal pancakes, known as "johnnycakes".