2011 State Park, Forest Award Winners, Gala Dinner May 3

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation announced the recipients of the 2011 State Park and forests awards this week which recognize eight groups, facilities and individuals for exemplary service, programs and work to protect and enhance our state park and forest system.
            The award winners will be honored at a reception (sponsored by Fermata, Inc.) and gala dinner at the Country Club of Harrisburg on May 3.   The public is invited, call the PPFF office 717- 236-7644 to register, or register online. Tickets are $40 per person.
            The top honor, the Cliff Jones Keystone Legacy Award, sponsored again this year by Woolrich, Inc., will be presented to Robert Griffith, who served as the first Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society from 1977-2010. 
            Mr. Griffith has been a leader in the recreation and park field, a tireless advocate for funding for state parks and other conservation funding initiatives, and has served on numerous advisory and planning groups and coalitions in support of recreation and conservation programs.
            “The Commonwealth is better off today because of the leadership of Bob Griffith as the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society’s Executive Director for the past 33 years,” said Marci Mowery, PPFF President.  “He truly embodies the spirit of Cliff Jones, PPFF’s original visionary mentor and for whom this award is named.”
            Since his retirement from PRPS, Bob has continued to advocate for conservation funding as an active member of the Growing Greener II Coalition.  He was also instrumental in helping to found the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation and has served as the Foundation’s Treasurer.  He was recognized in 2005 for his tireless work with PRPS receiving the Society’s highest award – the Fred M. Coombs Honor Award. 
            “The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation is proud to recognize Bob’s lifetime of service to enhance and protect Pennsylvania’s natural assets by naming him our Cliff Jones Keystone Legacy Award Winner,” said Marci Mowery, Foundation President.  
            Other award recipients include:
-- Joseph Ibberson Government Award: The Forest Assessment Team—DCNR Bureau of Forestry (Sponsored by Mr. Joseph Ibberson): For their work completing a statewide forest resource and assessment plan that now serves as a national model.
-- President’s Award: Borough of Ohiopyle (Sponsored by Chesapeake Energy): For their efforts working cooperatively with multiple partners including Ohiopyle State Park, DCNR, and local residents to preserve, protect and enhance this unique and special community.
-- Park of the Year: Pine Grove Furnace State Park (Sponsored by Gecko Group): For their work improving both facilities and programs at the park through the formation of a volunteer friends group; a partnership with the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy to restore the Iron Master’s Mansion; and, with the Appalachian Trail Museum Association to open the Appalachian Trail Museum.
-- Forest of the Year: Susquehannock State Forest  (Sponsored by Dominion): For its exemplary work balancing the needs of the recreation community, timber industry, and the natural gas industry through the formation of key partnerships while maintaining the integrity of the forest ecosystem.  
-- Friends Volunteerism Award: The Friends of Mt. Pisgah (Sponsored by Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society): For their outstanding work helping to increase the parks visibility through innovative and creative events, educational and recreational activities, all bringing families together outdoors.
-- Friends Education Award: Mr. John Salvetti, Prince Gallitzin State Park Volunteer (Sponsored by Talisman Energy): For his 26 years of service to the Bureau of State Parks, specifically his coordination of a bluebird monitoring program for Prince Gallitzin State Park; and for sharing his knowledge and passion for ornithology by providing numerous educational birding programs helping to attract many visitors to Prince Gallitzin State Park.
--Friends Improvement Award: Mr. Thomas Scully, Mechanicsburg, PA (Sponsored by Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce): For his extensive volunteer services to improve and maintain hundreds of miles of hiking trails in state parks and forests and along the Appalachian Trail. 
            Photos of the award recipients and regional press releases focusing on the individual award winners will be available following the banquet on the PPFF website.
            For more information, call the PPPF office 717-236-7644 or visit our website and follow us on Facebook.


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