This past weekend, Alabama State Parks honored the Alabama Wildlife Center and Shelby County Commission for their contributions to Oak Mountain State Park at the second annual Eagle Awards ceremony which was held at Guntersville State Park.
Parks Director Greg Lein awarded crystal eagle trophies to winners chosen through nominations made by the public in five categories: Youth, Volunteers in Parks (VIP), Park Partner, Community Partner and Elected Officials.
“Our state parks are such a great contributor to the quality of life in our state and we couldn’t provide all the services we offer without the help of thousands of volunteers who give of their time, their money and their support in many other ways,” said Lein. “Our partnerships are critical and these honorees are certainly worthy of this year’s Eagle Awards.”
Alabama Wildlife Center
The Alabama Wildlife Center was awarded the prestigious Park Partner Eagle Award. AWC was hailed for its commitment to wildlife and the exceptional education programs it offers visitors to the park and to thousands of schoolchildren each year. The all-volunteer center is Alabama’s oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation facility, founded in 1977. The AWC’s volunteers also offer wildlife education programs at many other parks in the Alabama State Parks System.
Shelby County Commission
In the Community Partner category, the Shelby County Commission was recognized for its commitment and support of local projects that take place at Oak Mountain State Park. For example, recently, Oak Mountain State Park, in conjunction with the Shelby County Commission re-worked a beach area near its Alabama 119 entrance, added three new fishing and swimming piers, a volleyball court and an Americans with Disabilities Act compliant sidewalk.
Importance of Alabama’s State Parks
Alabama State Parks maintain 22 parks statewide encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water. These parks rely on visitor fees and the support of other partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations.
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