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Date: May 25, 2010

National Park Service

U.S. Department of the Interior




For Immediate Release: MAY 24, 2010

Release No.: 2010-18

Contact:   Kevin Turner, 702-293-8712





Boulder City, Nev. - The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation honored the recipients of the 2009 George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service at a ceremony May 13 in Washington, DC.


The Hartzog Park Volunteer Program Awardwent to theLake Mead National Recreation Area Volunteers-In-Parks Program. Last year, the park’s 4,050 volunteers donated 122,200 hours to meaningful projects in maintenance, visitor services, education, resource protection, law enforcement, and administration. The volunteers monitored invasive mussels, inventoried abandoned mines, and rid the park of over 33 tons of garbage. In addition to maintaining existing volunteer activities, the park implemented two new programs. Operation Zero (OZ): Citizens Removing & Eliminating Waste (CREW) engaged community groups and families in cleaning coves around the lake by boat. The Resource Steward Program used volunteers to collect data about the park’s cultural and natural resources.


 “Volunteers increase the energy of the National Park Service and allow us to continue to do what needs to be done, including all things that could not be done without them” said National Park Service Deputy Director Mickey Fearn.


These awards, started eight years ago, recognize the time, talent, innovation, and hard work contributed to all national parks through the Volunteers-In-Parks (VIP) Program. Last year, 196,000 volunteers spent 5.9 million hours assisting the National Park Service.


George B. Hartzog, Jr., served as the director of the National Park Service from 1964 to 1972 and created the VIP Program in 1970. In retirement, he and his wife established a fund to support the program and honor the efforts of volunteers. His widow, Helen, and children attended the awards ceremony and congratulated each recipient.


Volunteer Richard Meissner summed up the spirit of the event. “I, and most volunteers, consider volunteering in a national park a privilege, a unique opportunity. Where else can one work at a lighthouse, in a desert, at the home of an important American? We VIPs feel truly blessed, and appreciated.”



Did You Know?

A Mountain Biker

Today you can walk or bicycle along the elevated railroad bed used to haul supplies and materials for the construction of Hoover Dam and enjoy the spectacular views of Lake Mead and the surrounding desert landscape. More...