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Contact: Mary Pat Doorley, CVNP, 440-546-5995, 440-343-7355 (cell)
Contact: Lisa Meranti, Conservancy for CVNP, 330-657-2364
Cuyahoga Valley National Park Volunteer Program Building a Community of Park Stewards
Brecksville, Ohio – In an effort to celebrate and inspire volunteerism, the Cleveland Indians and BVU: The Center for Nonprofit Excellence (BVU) challenged volunteers to track their hours and the individual with the most hours would be named the "Cleveland Indians Volunteer of the Year." The winner of this challenge is David Kopkas who volunteered 342 hours with Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) between April 1 and August 31, 2013. David was honored on the National Day of Service and Remembrance, Wednesday, September 11, at a special Cleveland Indians pregame ceremony on Progressive Field. He threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Since 2005, David has contributed over 3,000 hours of service to CVNP. He first became involved in the park by planting trees in memory of his wife and assisting the park’s friends group, the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park in fundraising efforts for the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail. Since then, he has become engaged in many aspects of the park’s Volunteer-in-Parks Program including: Park Ambassador at the Conservancy’s Trail Mix stores, courier of park publications throughout the park and nearby communities, TRAILS FOREVER tag courier, and CVNP’s Donor Garden caretaker. Throughout his volunteer service, David has been a strong advocate and steward for the park. He enhances park visitors’ experiences by sharing his passion and knowledge of the park, and his help as a courier behind-the-scenes is invaluable to visitor services.
"We are so grateful for David’s passion to connect people to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and to enhance the park for all. Volunteerism and community engagement in the park is critical to the future of national parks. David is a shining example of what it means to be a steward of the park," said Cheryl Schreier, Acting Superintendent of CVNP. David sees volunteering as an opportunity to meet people who share his passion for the outdoors.
About Cuyahoga Valley National Park Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) Program
CVNP’s Volunteer-in-Parks 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 5,900 VIPs donate over 202,000 hours to provide the highest level of quality services to park visitors and to help protect America’s heritage. To learn about volunteer opportunities visit www.nps.gov/cuva and click "Volunteer" or call 330-657-2299.
About BVU: The Center for Nonprofit Excellence (BVU)
BVU is a Northeast Ohio based organization that strengthens nonprofits by involving thousands of volunteers from the community; engaging hundreds of business executives and professionals on nonprofit boards of directors; and providing leading-edge board and management consulting and training services for nonprofits.