Dawn Coulson, a forest technician at George Washington-Jefferson National Forest in Virginia, admits she’s been accused of “adopting” SCA members in the past. “I’ve backpacked in pizzas for them, hosted them at my house, and made any number of lasting friendships,” she says.
SCA relies on the support of many, including our resource management partners who support SCA members in the field. Dawn has supervised, mentored and inspired dozens of SCA interns and crews for over 20 years. Her influence has helped SCA achieve its mission of “building the next generation of conservation leaders.”
Accordingly, SCA recently named Dawn the inaugural recipient of SCA’s “Serving Youth Serving Nature” Partner Award.
“As I get further away from my own youth, I really enjoy meeting the crew members every year,” says Dawn. “I learn a lot about our country through the places and cultures they represent.”
Just recently, she organized a picnic and boat ride for a hard-working SCA crew on Lake Moomaw. “This is such a natural place to become a conservationist, and so many of the crew members are really jazzed about the outdoors,” she says. “I’m honored to get the chance to work with them, and honored to receive this award.”
Fittingly, Dawn was nominated for the award by some of the SCA members to whom she provided guidance and support. “I’ve gotten a lot of great trail work done, but SCA is about so much more than putting a Pulaski in the ground,” she states. “Just as I learned at a young age, we all need to work together to make the natural world a better place. Aldo Leopold put it best when he said ‘the first rule of intelligent tinkering is – save all the parts!'”
Which ranger, forester, or supervisor aided you the most? Who was always there with a solution? Who made the biggest difference in your SCA experience?
Citing a special partner takes only a minute, though the appreciation will long endure. Thanks for your service – and thanks for your nomination!