Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

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News Release

May 1, 2008

Take Pride in America® Presents Local Pea Island Volunteers With National Service Awards

(Washington, D.C.)--

Yesterday, fourth grade students from Nags Head Elementary School joined with Take Pride in America®, as they took part in the Southside Discovery program at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, with a volunteer awards ceremony following.

The program focuses on teaching the students about the salt marshes, ocean organisms, and their adaptations. Afterwards, Take Pride in America presented around thirty local volunteers with Presidential Volunteer Service Awards, for their continued commitment to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. This was the seventh stop on Take Pride’s “VolunTour Across America.”
The President’s Volunteer Service Award, created by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, is the highest award for volunteerism to be bestowed on Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service.

“These students and volunteers embody the spirit of the Take Pride in America program,” said Katie Loovis, Executive Director, Take Pride in America. “They serve as an inspiration to us all, as they freely give their time and talents to help maintain and enhance our shared spaces.”

This week, Take Pride in America in conjunction with Toyota, is on the second leg of a nationwide trip promoting volunteerism on public lands. This tour is taking the “VolunTour Across America” all the way from Texas, through the south, and up the coast to Washington, D.C., with volunteer events held all along the way.

“As we continue our VolunTour through the southern states, we look forward to working closely with partners from all over and establishing new partnerships in each of our stops,” said Katie Loovis, Executive Director, Take Pride in America. “Joining hands, one by one, our grassroots volunteers are the heart and soul of the Take Pride in America program, and we’re on the road now with Toyota to fan that flame of service.”

“At Toyota, we operate under a company-created global earth charter that promotes environmental responsibility throughout our entire company,” said Michael Rouse, Toyota corporate manager of philanthropy and community affairs. “We are also committed to preserving the environment through strong partnerships with organizations like Take Pride in America.”

About Take Pride
Take Pride in America is a national partnership program aimed at increasing volunteer service on America’s public lands. It is the goal of Take Pride in America to empower volunteers from every corner of America to maintain and enhance our natural, cultural, and historical sites. Take Pride in America encourages citizen stewardship through an innovative public awareness campaign and an interactive website that showcases volunteer opportunities at natural and cultural sites. For more information, visit www.TakePride.gov.

Feel free to contact Thomas_hase@ios.doi.gov for more info on the tour, or to set up an interview.