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Indiana State Parks annual awards winners
Start Date: 3/15/2017
Event Description:
The DNR Division of State Parks recently honored volunteers and employees for their commitment to conservation in 2016.

Indiana State Parks director Dan Bortner presented annual awards at the Division Leadership Conference at Abe Martin Lodge in Brown County State Park on March 8.

Volunteer of the Year Awards went to:

—Del Striegel for more than 2,500 hours of service at O’Bannon Woods, Charlestown and Falls of the Ohio state parks. He teaches birding classes, and began and manages a prothonotary warbler nest box program.

—Debbie Striegel for her service as a volunteer host at the O’Bannon Woods nature center and for making numerous presentations using the property’s 150-year-old loom.

—Rod Cowell for building and promoting mountain bike trails at Harmonie State Park.

—Doug Ingle for mowing, building fences, improving trails and other manual labor projects at Ouabache State Park.

—Mike Cepily of Cepily Tree Service for donating time, staff and equipment for difficult tree removals at Tippecanoe River State Park and other properties.

Partnership Awards went to:

—The Indiana Trail Riders Association for building a new horseman’s campground at Versailles State Park.

—The Hillview Veterinary Clinic for raptor care at the Dwight Chamberlain Raptor Rehab Center at Hardy Lake.

—The McCormick’s Creek State Park Centennial Committee for organizing programs for the centennial celebration at Indiana’s first state park, McCormick’s Creek.

Bortner also presented awards to DNR employees.

Lucas Green, property manager at Falls of the Ohio and Charlestown state parks, earned the Tulip Tree Award, the division’s highest annual honor for outstanding service. Green led the installation of new exhibits at the Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center, oversaw development of the Rose Island Interpretive Trail at Charlestown, and hosted the National Association of State Park Directors at Falls of the Ohio in September.

Versailles State Park assistant manager Brad Walker earned the Innovation and Leadership Award for working with park staff, the Southeastern Indiana Mountain Bike Trail Association and the Friends of Versailles State Park to build trails, renovate nature center exhibits and remove hazardous trees.

Lincoln State Park earned the Property Achievement Award for several projects, including installing a new water main, replacing the membrane roof on the Lincoln Amphitheatre, and hosting events to commemorate the centennial of Indiana State Parks and the bicentennials of Indiana statehood and the arrival of Abraham Lincoln as a youth in Indiana.

Indiana Dunes State Park received the Natural Resources Award for conservation projects that included removing invasive species, addressing unauthorized trails in the fragile Dunes ecosystem, carrying out the saw-whet owl banding program, and helping host the Indiana Dunes Birding Festival.

Prophetstown State Park staff, Gary Christopher from the park’s maintenance crew and Mike List, Vicki Basman and Ben Clark from the division’s central office were honored with the Cultural Resources Award for designing and building the Circle of Stones at Prophetstown. The project honors 13 tribes who gathered in the area from 1808-1811 with plans to preserve their way of life.

General Manager Taylor Fleetwood and the team at Spring Mill Inn in Spring Mill State Park were recognized with the State Park Inns Team of the Year Award for improving customer satisfaction and creating memorable experiences for guests.

The DNR Division of Communications earned a Director’s Award for providing support during the Indiana State Parks centennial year in design, writing, media communication and photography.

The Division of Nature Preserves received a Special Recognition Award honoring a 50-year partnership to preserve unique natural areas inside state parks and across the state. (A prior news release incorrectly stated that the award came from the Indiana Parks Alliance.)

For more details regarding any of these awards, contact Ginger Murphy, deputy director, DNR Division of State Parks or the associated property.

To view all DNR news releases, please see
Contact Information:
Name: Ginger Murphy
Phone: (317) 232-4143
State calendar entry type:
Press Release
State calendar entry category:
State calendar classification:
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  • Natural Resources, Department of

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