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Contact: Jeff Wolin, (719) 748-3253
Contact: Shawn Frizzell, (719) 748-3253
Sally Maertens, resident of Woodland Park, Colorado has received the George B. Hartzog Jr. Award from the National Park Service. This coveted, national award recognizes distinguished individuals and groups who voluntarily give of their skills, talents, and time beyond the normal call of duty. Ms. Maertens is this year’s national individual award winner. The awards are named in honor of former National Park Service Director George B. Hartzog, Jr., who was a major proponent of volunteerism and who established the Volunteers-In-Parks program in 1970.
Ms. Maertens was nominated for spearheading the organization of a region-wide "No Child Left Inside" Weekend in the Pikes Peak Region. This involved bringing Richard Louv, world renowned author of "Last Child in the Woods," to speak at the Pikes Peak Center in Colorado Springs. The speaking event was preceded by an exhibition, also organized by Sally, of over 25 local groups involved with outdoor education. Sally was instrumental in getting more than 22 partner organizations to co-host the speaking event and to provide both funding and logistical support. NPS Deputy Director Lindi Harvey was one of the main speakers. The speaking event took place on a Friday night and was the kick off to a weekend-long, region wide effort to provide opportunities for youth and families to get outside, recreate, and learn about the natural heritage of the region. Although many partners were involved, the concept for the entire weekend was Sally's and she was truly the dynamic leader that made it happen. A retired educator and education administrator, Ms. Maertens has been a volunteer at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument for over 12 years and gives unstintingly of her time to several other area outdoor education organizations.
Sally will be recognized at a luncheon and ceremony in Washington, DC, with other award winning volunteers of the National Park Service.