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Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725
Today, the National Park Service (NPS) announced Buena High School Environmental Club as the winners of the prestigious NPS Hartzog Volunteer Youth Group Award.
For over 17 years the Buena club members have dedicated themselves to restoring the native plant ecosystem on Anacapa Island within Channel Islands National Park. Nearly 1,000 Buena students have contributed approximately 11,000 hours during monthly work trips to the island each school year.
Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau said, "These students and their teachers have fully stepped up and met the challenge I posed several years ago to remove a species of nonnative iceplant on Anacapa Island in time for the NPS Centennial in 2016. We are very close to reaching that goal thanks to their diligent work."
The Buena High School students and teachers competed for the award with youth groups that were nominated from over 400 national park sites.
The students and teachers will be recognized by the staff with the NPS and Ventura Unified School District at an event being held today at 11:45 am at Buena High School.
About the Award
The Hartzog Volunteer Youth Group Award recognizes the exemplary work of an organized youth group to improve conditions for the park resources, facilities or operations, and/or visitors;developing community partnerships;and/or providing a positive, supportive work environment.
In 1970 NPS Director George B. Hartzog, Jr. established the NPS Volunteers-In-Parks program. During Director Hartzog's tenure (1964 to 1972), 70 sites were added to the National Park System and he championed historic preservation, urban recreation, interpretation and environmental education. Director Hartzog recognized the need to make it easier for citizens to donate, without compensation, their time and talents to the NPS.
After his retirement, Director Hartzog made a generous donation to the National Park Foundation that is used to support awards that honor the efforts of exceptional volunteers, groups, and park VIP programs.
About the Centennial
The NPS is celebrating 100 years of sharing America's special places and helping Americans make meaningful connections to nature, history and culture in 2016. With its Centennial, the NPS is inviting a new generation to discover the special places that belong to all Americans.