Submissions to be nominated for the eight annual Alabama State Park’s Eagle Awards are now open.
Alabama State Parks Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will be accepting the nominations. The awards will be to recognize individuals who have contributed to Alabama’s parks. The submission deadline will be Dec. 22.
Those selected will be honored on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, as part of the year’s first Eagle Awareness Weekend at Lake Guntersville State Park.
Citizens interested have five categories to choose from to submit their nominations, according to the Alabama State Parks System:
1. Elected Official – This award honors an elected official who has worked to support and fulfill the mission of Alabama State Parks in preserving natural areas, operating recreational facilities, and extending public knowledge of the state’s natural environment.
2. Community Partner – Honoring government organizations, chambers of commerce, tourism organizations, and local businesses who help parks succeed through collaboration and community support.
3. Park Partner – This award honors organizations working to ensure the creation and ongoing maintenance of vital park amenities such as hiking and biking trails. The nominee is a partnering organization that sees a need and collaborates with the leaders of Alabama State Parks to fill it.
4. Volunteer in Parks –This award honors Volunteers in Parks (VIPs) who serve to make Alabama State Parks destinations of excellence. Whether contributing physical labor at a single park or strategically planning for the parks system, VIP nominees are service-oriented individuals who keep park maintenance and growth at the forefront of all efforts.
5. Youth: Honoring K5 – 12th grade student award recipients, this award highlights students who have made extraordinary contributions to a single state park or the system of Alabama State Parks through community service organizations or individual service efforts.
Chris Blankenship, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner, said it is always an honor to celebrate contributors to Alabama’s state parks.
“Our State Parks System welcomes millions of visitors each year, and we recognize that many of the programs and amenities in our parks would not be possible without the contributions of so many individuals and organizations,” said Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship. “That’s why it’s always such an honor to thank these amazing contributors with the Eagle Awards during Eagle Awareness Weekend at Lake Guntersville State Park. It’s an incredible setting to thank and acknowledge the efforts that help make our State Parks so welcoming.”