Sunday, October 29, 2006

Local Receives National Award


Executive Director Michelle Cangelosi named James 'Larry' Keith as a recipient of the 2006 Take Pride in America National Award in the Individual category. Twenty-eight individuals and groups will be honored for their outstanding volunteer efforts on Federal, state and local public lands at an awards ceremony to be held September 14 at the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC.

"It's quite an honor to be selected for a National award for doing something I like to do. It makes me proud to live in a country that offers the opportunity to volunteer. I would encourage others to volunteer to help maintain these natural resources and to be pro-active in looking for volunteer opportunities that you like to do," James 'Larry' Keith said.

The Take Pride in America National Awards are given annually and this year's winners were selected from nominations representing individuals, groups and projects in 32 different states. The judges, representatives of government agencies within the Department of the Interior, scored the applications based upon the scope of their work, the measurable impact of their results, their collaborative partnership and their demonstration of the mission of Take Pride.

"These Take Pride award winners embody the mission of Take Pride by accepting responsibility and taking action to enhance our public lands," Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne said. "It is through their stewardship that they are creating a lasting legacy within their community."

"The nominations were outstanding, as we learned more about the hard work and generous donation of time by volunteers across our country. This is an exciting time of year because we can celebrate and thank volunteers for their service to our public lands," Cangelosi said. "It is an honor to invite James Keith to Washington, DC to be recognized for his continued commitment to our parks, refuges and recreation areas."

James 'Larry' Keith was selected as one of this year's award winners because of his dedicated volunteer service at the three National Wildlife Refuges managed under the Central Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Marksville, Louisiana, but especially for his volunteer service at Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge, located in St. Francisville, Louisiana.

Take Pride in America, an initiative of the U.S. Department of the Interior, is a nationwide partnership program which inspires Americans to volunteer in caring for their public lands. Their goal is to instill an active sense of ownership and responsibility in every citizen for natural, cultural and historic resources, and to support and recognize the efforts of those who volunteer for public lands. Through a web-based search engine, Take Pride offers a database for short-term and long-term volunteer projects on public lands, as well as assistance for project planning. Additionally, Take Pride rewards exceptional volunteer service by individuals and groups with awards and appreciation certificates. For more information, visit