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Contact: Carol Borneman, (606) 246-1070"A real mentor!" "Passionate about the National Park Service's (NPS) mission in protecting park resources." "Calm even in emergency situations." "Understands the real meaning of a team." "Thoroughly researches solutions for an issue." Such accolades for Jenny Beeler, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park's Resource Management Specialist, are but a sampling of comments by folks in the NPS, others in sister agencies, the public sector and park visitors. And it is these very comments which have distinguished Beeler as the 2015 NPS Southeast Region Park Employee of the Year.
At a recent team meeting at the park, Deputy Regional Director Barclay Trimble who is based at the Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta, presented Beeler with the prestigious award. Trimble recognized Beeler's accomplishments highlighting her work on a beaver management plan, collaboration on the park's historic resources, monitoring of peregrine falcons, partnering with the Cave Research Foundation and handling of all wilderness worksheets and National Environmental Policy Act compliance. Barclay also cited Beeler's choreographing the park's "Back the B.E.A.R.S. –Be Educated and Responsible Stewards," a two day educational event attended by almost 1400 visitors, including 786 school children. This "one stop bear fact shopping venue" provided visitors numerous opportunities to connect with black bear experts and learn techniques in avoiding bear-people interactions.
When presented the award, a very surprised Beeler who knew nothing about even being nominated, immediately praised a "great park team with whom to be working!" Beeler has worked at Cumberland Gap for 13 years; before this appointment, she worked as a biologist at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Superintendent Sula Jacobs shares that "Jenny Beeler is so deserving of this recognition. Cumberland Gap encompasses almost 24,000 acres. With a tapestry of resources ranging from caves to water to proposed wilderness designation to exotic plants to rare and endangered plant species and to bats with white nose syndrome, one can easily imagine the complex issues which Jenny deals with. She does it with such ease! And when Jenny is complimented on her professionalism and in-depth knowledge, she responds with such humility and immediately focuses the praise to others."
According to Jacobs, the NPS Southeast Region stretches from Kentucky and North Carolina on the north to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and from Louisiana to the Atlantic Coast with 66 park units including the Blue Ridge Parkway, Everglades National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.Almost 3000 employees safeguard the treasures found in these very special places.