A volunteer team that maintains the native plant garden at Channel Islands National Park has received national recognition as the winners of the prestigious National Park Service (NPS) Hartzog Volunteer Group Award.
The team of 15 volunteers contributed over 1,300 hours caring for the park’s native plant garden and nursery this past year. Collectively, they have contributed the equivalent of 73 years of volunteer service, with an average service of ten years each.
They are passionate about creating an experience on the mainland that mirrors the island plant communities of the Mediterranean ecosystem, one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world.
Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary are hosting a virtual award ceremony today at 3:00 pm to recognize the Hartzog winners as well as the outstanding service and milestone achievements of several other volunteers.
A 25-year record of contributing over 5,000 hours is celebrated for visitor center volunteer Frank Foster. Like clockwork every Thursday, Foster provides an invaluable service providing information to park visitors, training new volunteers, caring for the marine life exhibit, and tracking statistics.
The park volunteer of the year, Michael Delaney, wins the Lighthouse Award for his efforts in a diversity of roles. The multi-talented Delaney volunteers as a naturalist, visitor center information specialist, native plant gardener, island restoration work leader, AV technician, and is a caretaker for the historic Fresnel lens on Anacapa Island. In 2019, Delaney contributed time equivalent to a third of a full-time employee.
Linda Windsor is recognized with the Channel Islands Naturalist Corps (CINC) Blue Whale Award for providing high-quality interpretive services on the islands and at community events consistently the past five years.
The Hartzog Volunteer Group Award recognizes the exemplary work of an organized group to improve conditions for the park resources, facilities or operations, and/or visitors; developing community partnerships; and/or providing a positive, supportive work environment.