May 2017 – Congratulations to Everglades National Park and the Every Kid in a Park volunteers who donated their time last year so the park could double the number of 4th-grade students who visit the park on field trips. With a committed corps of 25 volunteers, the park welcomed 6,807 local 4th-grade students to the Everglades last year, up from 3,241 the year before. The park and its volunteers are the winners of this year’s Hartzog Award for Outstanding Park Volunteer Program, the top honor among all national parks nationwide. Congratulations to all !!!
Here’s the National Park Service announcement of the award:
“The Every Kid in a Park Volunteer Corps from Everglades National Park in Florida is the recipient of the Hartzog Award for Outstanding Park Volunteer Program. In 2016, Everglades National Park doubled the number of fourth-grade students visiting the park as part of an educational program by establishing a volunteer corp. The park recruited and trained 25 new volunteers who devoted a day each week for four months to the Every Kid in a Park program. The volunteers worked with the park’s education team to engage students through interactive stations focused on key Everglades topics. In previous years, the park could accommodate 150 classes for education programs with another 150 wait-listed. In 2016, with the addition of the volunteer corps, the park offered 132 programs to 325 classes of 6,807 students and 802 teachers and chaperones. This was a 110% increase over the previous year’s total of 3,241 students. The volunteer corps was a creative approach to help the park reach more students to increase their awareness of the Everglades and encourage outdoor exploration.”