Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) February 12, 2012
Liz Putnam, who launched the American conservation service movement more than 50 years ago with the founding of the Student Conservation Association (SCA), was presented with The Corps Network’s Legacy Achievement Award at the organization’s national conference in Washington, D.C.
The Legacy Achievement Award is given annually for extraordinary contributions to the conservation corps movement. Ms Putnam accepted the award on Sunday, February 12, at the conference kick-off dinner, and shared the honour with all in attendance.
“Corps impart the value of leadership and stewardship in young people all across our country, while preparing participants for conservation careers,” Ms Putnam stated. “Our collective legacy will be a better planet for all.”
The nation’s oldest and largest youth conservation organization, SCA’s mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders. SCA engages thousands of diverse high school, college and graduate students in national parks, urban communities and corporate sustainability programs each year.
Ms Putnam was a student herself when she outlined the idea for SCA in her Vassar College senior thesis in 1955. She proposed adapting the Civilian Conservation Corps model to enlist students to assist with upkeep at national parks, where surging visitation rates were outpacing maintenance budgets. Aided by colleague Martha Hayne Talbot, Ms. Putnam earned the interest and support of oﬃcials in the National Park Service and the first SCA volunteers arrived at Grand Teton and Olympic National Parks in 1957.
Today, more than half of SCA’s 65,000 alumni remain active conservationists in their careers and communities; the National Park Service alone estimates up to 12% of its workforce can trace their professional roots to SCA. In addition, SCA has served as the blueprint for numerous other eco-service initiatives including the Department of the Interior’s Youth Conservation Corps, dozens of Volunteers in Parks (VIP) programs, and myriad state and local conservation corps.
The Corps Network Award is the latest in a long series of citations for Ms. Putnam. In 2010, she became the first conservationist ever to win the Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second highest civilian honor. Prior to that, Ms. Putnam received the President’s Volunteer Action Award, the Cornelius Amory Pugsley Medal for contributions to public parks, and the Rachel Carson Leadership Award, among many others.
With the formal title of Founding President, Ms. Putnam is an active ambassador for SCA and a constant source of inspiration to its members, staff, and partners. She resides with her husband, Bruce, in Shaftsbury, VT.
The only national organization of its kind, the Student Conservation Association (SCA)’s hands-on practice of conservation service has helped to develop new generations of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship, and save the planet. SCA is a non-profit based in Washington, D.C. with oﬃces in Anchorage, AK, Boise, ID, Charlestown, NH, Oakland, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, Seattle, WA, and Washington, D.C. SCA is a member of The Corps Network and a partner of AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information, visit thesca.org.