Scholarship Recipient Wins National Award for Environmental Volunteer Work

Categories: Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund, Highlights

Freedom Alliance scholarship recipient, Carrie Anne Johnston, recently won the 2011 “Take Pride in America” National Youth Volunteer Award.  According to the Department of the Interior (DOI), Carrie has contributed more than $5 million worth of economic benefits to lands managed by the DOI.

“The contributions made by the Take Pride in America award winners are a prime example of the President’s call to service to enhance and promote America’s Great Outdoors,” said DOI Secretary Ken Salazar.

“Their hard work and determination to support our public lands clearly demonstrates that caring for our nation’s natural and cultural resources helps to strengthen our communities, our public lands, and our commitment to making our country a world leader in conservation.”

Carrie has always had a love for nature, animals and our environment. She is especially concerned with how they all interact with each other and the outcome of adverse actions upon them according to the Take Pride in America, a nationwide partnership program authorized by Congress to promote the appreciation and stewardship of our nation’s public lands.

Six years ago she initiated a project to clear invasive autumn olive trees from the Cedar Swamp State Wildlife Area in Delaware. Her volunteer teams cleared other non-native plants too, and planted over a thousand native trees such as American holly, popular, red maple, and cedar…Over the past years, hundreds of hours of volunteer time have been given to Carrie’s project by both young and old alike.

Carrie has also taken on a second project to encourage people to reduce the use of plastic bags. Rounding up a team of volunteers, Carrie gathered the supplies and supervised the building of wooden bins that were placed at strategic places in the Smyrna-Dover area.

To date, thousands of plastic bags have been recycled instead of going into landfills. She has recently received a request for two more containers to be placed at local businesses.

Carrie will be entering her second year at Unity College in Maine. Her major is captive wildlife care and education. Her father, Army SGT Paul A. Johntson is 100% disabled due to an injury while serving in Desert Storm.

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