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MONTGOMERY, Ala
. – The Alabama State Parks System is seeking nominations for this year’s Eagle Award winners. The Eagle Award is given, in five categories, to people and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in support of the parks.
 
“Our parks could not survive without the many wonderful partnerships we enjoy and our Eagle Awards are a way to recognize some of our most giving supporters,” said Greg Lein, Director of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources State Parks Division. “We hope that friends of our parks will take a few minutes to nominate people they know who deserve this recognition.”
 
To nominate someone in one – or all – of the following five categories, visit alapark.com/eagle-awards. The deadline for nominations is January 5, 2018.
 
Here are the 2018 Eagle Award nomination categories:
 
Elected Official
Our parks are shining examples of important quality of life amenities and the strong economic drivers needed in our communities. The support of elected officials is critical to the success of our parks. This award honors an elected official who has worked in conjunction with the parks to help fulfill its mission to preserve natural areas, operate recreational facilities and extend the public’s knowledge of the state’s natural environment.
 
Community Partner
The parks cannot succeed without the cooperation and support of community organizations such as other government organizations, chambers of commerce, tourism organizations and local businesses. These groups understand that the success of the park means success for the community and work in many different ways to help the parks achieve their goals.
 
Park Partner
Organizations work to provide or maintain amenities in the parks, such as hiking and biking trails, that otherwise might not exist due to the allocation of resources for other services. This award celebrates those partners who see a need and cooperate with park leadership to fill it.
 
Volunteer in Parks
These VIPs work in various ways to make our parks system better. Volunteers may be providing physical labor or strategic planning to improve one park, or the entire system of parks. This award honors a person who gives of his or her time for the benefit of every person who visits the parks, all without any expectation of any recognition.
 
Youth
Our parks inspire young – and old – alike, but the impression left on youngsters often lives with them forever. Many turn their love of the parks, of the outdoors, into projects to benefit some of their favorite places – often as part of a Scouting program. This award, for students 12th grade and younger, honors the person whose contribution is extraordinary.
 
About Alabama’s State Parks System
The Alabama State Parks is a division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The division maintains 22 parks encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water. These parks rely on visitor fees and the support of other partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. Download the State Parks app at pocketranger.com. For more information about Alabama State Parks, go online to www.alapark.com. Partners Pay the Way.
 
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Photo: Alabama State Sen. Clay Scofield, second from left, was an Eagle Award honoree for 2017. Pictured with him at the ceremony are, from left, Lake Guntersville State Park Manager and District Superintendent Michael Jeffreys, Scofield, Alabama State Parks Partners vice chairperson Sandra Burroughs and Alabama State Parks Division Director Greg Lein.