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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 452  

Two BLM-Californians win 2010 interpretation/education awards

Two BLM-California employees are among the three winners in the BLM’s 2010 “Excellence in Interpretation” Awards competition. They are:

Gold Award winner: Rachel Sowards-Thompson, Outdoor Recreation Planner, King Range National Conservation Area, Whitethorn California.  Rachel has developed a remarkable variety of programs that engage audiences ranging from student groups to families. Her programs include the Lost Coast Life Lab which provides unique after-school field activities for elementary-school students, and the Paradise Royale Mountain Bike program, through which local youths build bike trails, learn about safe and ethical riding, and get to ride mountain bikes in the process. Silver Award winner: Joyce “Joya” Szalwinski, Park Ranger, BLM El Centro Field Office, California.   Joya Szalwinski is dedicated to helping kids, families, and the off-highway vehicle (OHV) community safely recreate at the highly popular Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, while also learning about this dynamic environment.  The 25 cards in her distinctive “Take It Outside! OHV Family Activity Cards” set cover topics ranging from safe riding to local topography, engaging both parents and children with fascinating facts and fun activities. 
close-up of smiling young lady wearing a capClose-up fo smiling woman

 Rachel Sowards-Thompson

 Joyce “Joya” Szalwinski

A young lady shows kids outdoor stuff 
Rachel Sowards-Thompson helps children learn more about rivers.

Smiling woman shows a youngster and off-road vehicle
Joya Szalwinski introduces a youngster to an off-road vehicle.

They and the other Silver award winner -- SILVER AWARD winner: Matthew “Matt” Christenson, BLM Oregon State Office, Portland, Oregon -- have been invited to attend the “Excellence in Interpretation” awards ceremony on November 18, 2010, to be held in conjunction with the National Association for Interpretation’s (NAI) 2010 National Workshop. This year’s workshop will take place November 16-20, 2010, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Winners of the Hiram M. Chittenden Award (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), the Sense of Wonder Award (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Gifford Pinchot Excellence in Interpretation and Conservation Education Award (USDA Forest Service), the Freeman Tilden Award (National Park Service), and NAI’s Master Front-Line Interpreter and Master Interpretive Manager awards will also be acknowledged during this ceremony.

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 452

Last updated: 10-14-2010