The National Park Service announced Tuesday that the Vicksburg National Military Park Volunteer Program has been awarded the 2019 George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service.
The national award is given annually to a park with an outstanding volunteer program. The award recognizes the Vicksburg park’s growing volunteer program.
Among the park programs recognized are the efforts to clean headstones and place flags in the Vicksburg National Cemetery, the park’s volunteer living history program, the annual volunteer cleanup days on Park Day and National Public Lands Day, internships such as the Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign’s Winter Residency Program and the Junior Ranger Camps.
The volunteers who make all this possible are individuals, Boy Scouts, members of service clubs, master gardeners, soldiers, employees of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and ERDC, and AmeriCorps volunteers who do organized projects and earn service hours in the park. Even some of the volunteer coordinators are volunteers.
“The Hartzog Award is one of the most prestigious awards the National Park Service gives” said park Superintendent Bill Justice in a statement. “That’s because it is an award to the community that cares about and for the park, and to the park staff who support those efforts.”
“Our work with the park over the last several years to grow the volunteer program has been enormously successful” said Bess Averett, executive director of Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign. “We feel great pride in that achievement. To have that work and those staff and volunteers recognized with this prestigious national award is amazing. It is so well deserved. We look forward to working with the park to build an even stronger program”
More information about the 2019 Hartzog awards is available at https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/2019-hartzog-awards.htm.