ARC Announces 2010 Beacon Award Winners

Washington, D.C. – The 2010 recipients of the American Recreation Coalition’s Beacon Awards, which recognize outstanding efforts by federal agencies and partners in harnessing the power of technology to improve public recreation experiences and federal recreation program management, will be honored during Great Outdoors Week on Monday, June 7. Winners of the 2010 Beacon Awards are:

Joya Szalwinski, Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, Bureau of Land Management, for creative use of technology in producing kid-friendly Off-Highway Vehicle interpretive products as a way to connect families and the OHV community to the Dunes. Her innovative engagement efforts have substantially contributed to increasing awareness and understanding of OHV safety, dune topography, outdoor ethics, border safety, cultural and resource conservation, and Tread Lightly! principles.

Craig Glassner, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Park Service, for his innovative use of social media tools in outreach and promotion efforts at Alcatraz Island. His creative utilization of social media channels – including Google Goggle, flickr and Twitter – demonstrate how public land managers can use technology to showcase the many benefits of outdoor recreation in ways relevant to a new generation of park visitors.

Lake Ouachita Focus Committee, Partner to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for their use of technology and partnerships to enhance recreation for visitors to Lake Ouachita. Through a partnership with local high school students, the committee utilizes GIS technology to maps trails and has developed a virtual reality environment – where visitors can "walk" the trail and receive interpretive messages – to entice visitor involvement. The partnership also created a database for campground satisfaction surveys, which provides valuable information to improve visitor services.

Andrea VanBeusichem, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for creative use of technology in developing a self-guided cell phone tour to enhance interpretation for visitors to the refuge. Taking an innovative approach to transmitting interpretive messages – including refuge history, facts, and biological phenomena – the cell phone tour is an effective way to connect technologically savvy visitors with the refuge – and nature.

San Dimas Technology and Development Center, U.S. Forest Service, for development of the ingenious ATV Washer, which combats the spread of noxious weeds and invasive plants by ATVs and other off-road vehicles. Designed to serve as an efficient, mobile, self-contained wash station, the ATV Washer is a valuable ally in keeping Wisconsin's Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest – and more sites soon – safe from the devastation of invasive, non-native plant life.

For more information on Great Outdoors Week, visit:

The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) initiated the Beacon Awards during Great Outdoors Week 2005. The Beacon Awards implement a recommendation of the Partners Outdoors 2005 session, where participants felt that a new awards program, jointly administered by ARC and federal agencies hosting more than a billion recreation visits annually, would encourage experimentation with and use of new technologies and alternative management. Recreation-related federal agencies annually nominate candidates for the award.

Award criteria include:

  1. Innovation in the use of technology for visitor services or recreation management;
  2. Partnerships with for-profit and nonprofit organizations in the private sector;
  3. Efforts to share news of creative solutions within the agency; and
  4. Community support for the work of this initiative.