Barb Perkins, (303) 235-4588
ROCKY MOUNTAIN ARSENAL NATIONAL
WILDLIFE REFUGE EMPLOYEE WINS
NATIONAL AWARD FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND
Sherry James, Supervisory Park Ranger at the Rocky
Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colorado, has
been recognized with the 2006 Sense of Wonder Award. Given by the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, the award is the agency’s highest honor for
achievement in environmental education and interpretation.
The award takes its name from a book by the great
conservationist and former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee Rachel
Carson, who urged adults to help children develop a “sense of wonder” in
the natural world that would continue to grow for generations.
"Sherry James is a very deserving recipient of the
Service's 2006 Sense of Wonder Award. Her efforts have enriched the lives
of thousands of Colorado school children by exposing them to the wonders
of wildlife and the natural world,” said Dean Rundle, refuge manager at
the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. “Everyone here at the
refuge is proud to be on the same team with Sherry James.”
James was selected from a national field of
candidates for the award, which was presented earlier this month at the
National Association for Interpreters (NAI) conference in Albuquerque, New
Mexico. James is currently in charge of all visitor service programs at
Among her accomplishments, James has collaborated
with Craig Hospital and Children’s Hospital to provide fishing
opportunities for disabled and paralyzed youth, established a
Spanish-language Web page for the Arsenal (one of the first in the Service
and the National Wildlife Refuge System), created educational partnerships
with Denver Public Schools and Adams County 14 School District, and
planned, coordinated and executed numerous large public events at the
In the 15 years since the U.S. Congress passed
legislation to establish the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife
Refuge, James has touched the lives of over 400,000 visitors, 77,000 of
whom are schoolchildren. From operating tour vehicles and leading
environmental education programs, to recruiting and leading volunteers, to
establishing partnerships with businesses, nongovernmental organizations
and school districts, to writing curricula and press releases, and
organizing major events, James’ career has truly instilled a “sense of
wonder” in those of all ages.
You can find more information about the Refuge at
http://rockymountainarsenal.fws.gov or by calling 303.289.0930. To
learn more about the Arsenal and its environmental cleanup, please visit
www.rma.army.mil or call 303.289.0136.
Located about 10 miles northeast of Denver, the Rocky
Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge was officially established in
2004, after the EPA certified that the clean up of 5,000 acres of Arsenal
land was complete and took the land off the Superfund list. The refuge
expanded from 5,000 to more than 12,000 acres this fall, following the
successful clean up and transfer of the land from the U.S. Army to the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The refuge is home to more than 330 species of
wildlife, including the American bald eagle and burrowing owl, and
includes important wetland and short-grass prairie habitat. For the past
15 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has partnered with the Army
and Shell Oil Co. to convert the Arsenal from an environmental clean-up
site to a premier urban national wildlife refuge in the heart of Colorado.
The clean up of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal is almost two-thirds complete.
By the time the work is finished, around 2011, another 2,500 acres will be
added to the refuge.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the
principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and
enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing
benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre
National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife
refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas.
It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices
and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal
wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory
bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and
restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native
American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also
oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of
millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to
state fish and wildlife agencies.
- FWS -
For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
visit our home page at