Channel Islands Volunteers Recognized for Over 20 Years of Service

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Date: February 2, 2015
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

Tonight, Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary celebrate their volunteers at an annual recognition event in Ventura.

The equivalent of over 37 full-time positions of work was contributed to the park and sanctuary in 2014 through contributions by 1,585 volunteers donating 78,232 hours. 

Prominent among the awards this year is recognition of four volunteers who have each donated over 20 years of service to Channel Islands National Park. 

Ventura resident and retired engineer Frank Foster has worked each Thursday at the park visitor center the past 20-year serving the public, training new volunteers, caring for the marine life exhibit fish, and tracking statistics. 

Milt and Lee Rothschild, a retired chemical engineer and homemaker respectively from Ventura, met the 20 year mark in November. Milt was one of the original volunteers to help maintain the native plant garden exhibit at the park visitor center. Lee has been instrumental in educational program coordination, bookstore operations, and archiving park articles. 

George Roberts, a retired teacher with a knack for geology, has volunteered at several national parks including Hawaii Volcanoes, Sequoia, and Channel Islands. At Channel Islands he has been an exceptional naturalist serving thousands of visitors on both San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands. 

Equally impressive this year is the recognition of five high school teachers for their leadership in restoring the native plant communities on Anacapa Island. They include teachers Richard Smith and Michael Yorke from Buena High School, Kevin Flint from Oxnard High School, Robert Carr from Pacifica High School, and Bill Weinerth with Rio Mesa High School. 

Together their efforts have greatly increased the amount of restoration work completed on Anacapa Island over the past 15 years. They supervise students on regular restoration trips each month providing hundreds of our local youth the opportunity to become stewards in protecting their national park. 

The Blue Whale Award this year goes to Ken Tatro, an aerospace engineer, for his service to the Channel Islands Naturalist Corps for the past eight years. As a naturalist he provides education on whale watch trips, island hikes and at community events. 

Sanctuary and park volunteers come from all walks of life to contribute a wide variety of skilled work. They include engineers, teachers, students, and retirees who work conducting maintenance, research, education, and restoration projects on the islands, mainland, and on boats. 

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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