National Partnership to Be Announced February 9 At Oak Mountain State Park

A press conference is set for 1:00 p.m., February 9, 2004, at Oak Mountain State Park to launch a new statewide volunteer program in association with the Take Pride in America national partnership. The conference will feature Governor Bob Riley; First Lady Patsy Riley; P. Lynn Scarlett, Assistant Secretary of Interior; Marti Allbright, Executive Director of Take Pride in America; M. Barnett Lawley, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Mark Easterwood, Alabama State Parks Director; and Scott Stone, President of the Friends of Oak Mountain Volunteer Support Group. Members of a wide variety of park user groups will also be represented.

The Alabama State Parks Volunteer in Parks (V.I.P.) program will provide different levels of volunteer opportunities within the state parks system. The description of duties and work to be performed by these volunteers will be similar from park to park to provide a consistent system statewide. Brochures and V.I.P. handbooks will be available that detail information concerning projects and the volunteer application process.

Take Pride in America is a national partnership that seeks, supports, and recognizes volunteers who work to improve our national parks, forests, grasslands and wildlife refuges, public lands, cultural and historic sites, playgrounds, and other recreational areas. As part of the President's USA Freedom Corps call to service, Take Pride in America is an excellent opportunity for all citizens and communities to demonstrate local pride, initiative, and stewardship.