Take Pride in America
|Agency executive||Lisa Young, Acting Executive Director|
|Parent agency||United States Department of the Interior|
Take Pride in America is a United States Department of the Interior partnership program that enables individuals, civic groups, corporations and others to volunteer in caring for the lands that Americans as a whole share. Its goal is to instill an active sense of ownership and responsibility for natural, cultural, and historic resources in its citizenry.
The program provides volunteer opportunities that are available nationwide including spending the summer as a tour guide at a national park or working on a wildlife habitat restoration project. Projects can also be found or created in local communities.
- Awareness: increase the public's sense of responsibility for public resources
- Action: invite the public to help maintain and enhance our shared spaces
- Awards: honor individual and group volunteers for outstanding work in public lands
In 1997, President Bill Clinton called for an increase in volunteer service in the U.S. The Boy Scouts of America developed their Service to America program with a commitment to provide 200 million hours of service by youth members by the end of the year 2000. As part of Service to America, the BSA provided service projects in conjunction with the National Park Service (NPS). In October 2003, the Department of the Interior expanded the program with the creation of Take Pride in America, opening service to all Americans.
Take Pride Schools
The Take Pride Schools program was launched in the fall of 2005 to introduce a new generation to volunteerism and create future stewards of our public lands. To be designated as a Take Pride School, a school must commit to participating in two Take Pride volunteer events each year benefiting public lands. Participation can be by an entire school, a class, or even an after-school club. Projects must be on public lands (public schools included!), promote Take Pride's message, and benefit public use of public land.
Throughout the year, Take Pride in America gives many different awards to recognize outstanding volunteer efforts of the individuals and groups that make Take Pride a success.
- National Awards for individuals or groups are given annually in a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
- Hours of Service Awards are given to Individuals. The Secretarial Award is given to those who have donated more than 3,000 hours of service on public lands, and the Presidential Award to those donating more than 4,000 hours.
- Special Awards are given by participating elected officials for outstanding volunteer projects and exceptional garden programs that promote the mission of Take Pride.
- "Take Pride in America". Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2008-03-06.