News Release Legends Awards 2013

ARC Recognizes 2013 Legends Award Winners

This news release is available as a .pdf here.

Washington, D.C. – The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) will present its 2013 Legends Awards to six federal managers in recognition of their outstanding work to improve outdoor recreation experiences and opportunities for the American people. The awards will be presented on June 4, 2013, during Great Outdoors Week – ARC’s celebration of the value and importance of outdoor recreation. Initiated by ARC in 1991, the Legends Award program calls on federal agencies to nominate an individual whose extraordinary personal efforts have made a real difference in enhancing outdoor recreation programs and resources. The 2013 Legends Award recipients represent the Bureau of Land Management, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service, agencies together hosting more than a billion recreation visits annually. Winners of the 2013 Legends Awards are: Tony Brady, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Marcia Butorac, Bureau of Land Management; Rachel Garren, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Stan Hinatsu, U.S. Forest Service; David LaRoche, Federal Highway Administration; and Jerry Willis, National Park Service.

Tony Brady is a Biologist at Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery in Natchitoches, Louisiana. There he has worked diligently to make the Hatchery an integral part of the community, supporting the Kids Fishing Derby and the local high school’s fishing team, honoring current and retired members of the military, and, most notably, volunteering for the 4-H Youth Development program, where he has created a youth archery program. Through his extraordinary efforts, Tony has connected numerous people, especially youth, to the outdoors through archery, recognizing that children who may not feel comfortable in their abilities to play some other sports can find success and self-confidence, while also learning about conservation, through the sport of archery. Tony attended the “Archery as an Outreach Tool” class offered at the National Conservation Training Center in June 2012, began serving as the Natchitoches Parish 4-H archery coach, built an archery range on the Hatchery grounds, obtained $3,000 worth of donated equipment and, by September, had 26 youth participants in two practices. Children from the program have competed successfully at the regional and state level. He also helped start the archery program at Northwestern State University (NSU) Middle Lab School and assists the NSU archery team. In addition to teaching archery to youth, Tony has trained and certified six Louisiana school teachers to teach archery in their schools. He has also assisted the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries with their archery certification class. Tony is currently pursuing funds through Friends In Support of the Hatchery, the nonprofit Friends Group for Natchitoches NFH, to purchase additional equipment. The archery program is off and running solely because of Tony’s motivation, ingenuity and tenacity — and many children have benefited from his tireless efforts.

Marcia Butorac has been an outdoor recreation planner for the past 18 years, providing quality customer service on behalf of BLM-Alaska. She manages all the facilities for the Glennallen Field Office management area, which is roughly the size of West Virginia and includes two Wild and Scenic Rivers, 908 miles of trails, 17 trailheads, four campgrounds, four boat launches, and two waysides. All of these recreation resources are BLM-Alaska’s most popular destinations and are highway- or road-accessible to three quarters of the state’s population. Through Marcia’s dedication, the campgrounds she manages are the benchmark for all other campgrounds in Alaska. Wherever an exemplary recreation facility or service exists in this part of Alaska, its presence is due to Marcia, who put it in motion, supported it, and gave it her complete dedication and commitment. She has mentored dozens of seasonal youth hires and campground host volunteers in recreation management, putting their needs above all else. Her volunteers are so favorably engaged and valued by Marcia that they often return from all over the nation, traveling thousands of miles, year after year, to provide their service under her direction. Her dedication to public service is not only noticed by the community, where she is welcome in every business and lodge, but has had a positive effect on the public’s perception of the agency. In small communities, responsible and dedicated people like Marcia serve in numerous ways to meet the needs of the community. She has been a hockey mom, a coach, and a volunteer with numerous organizations. Marcia’s dedication to her work, the public, and her staff, her commitment to building lasting partnerships and providing opportunities for youth, and her promotion of stewardship of public lands have won her the respect and admiration of all who know and work with her.

Rachel Garren is a Natural Resources Specialist at the St. Louis District Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. During her 31 years with the Corps, Rachel’s work has greatly improved recreation services and enhanced water safety in her District, the Mississippi Valley Division, and the nation. Since she began training the District’s interpretive park rangers in 1992, Rachel has improved the skills of over 1,000 interpreters. Seven of the District’s employees have won the National Hiram M. Chittenden Award for Interpretive Excellence since 2000. With exhibit design and interpretive planning as another area of expertise, she has managed contracts for the renovation of seven visitor center exhibits, providing visitors with exhibits they can appreciate and easily understand. Her work in enhancing water-safety initiatives is extraordinary and includes the development of policies for a National Life Jacket Loaner Program and the distribution of safety promotional materials to the public. She also played an essential role in the development of the Strategic Campaign Plan for Reducing Public Fatalities, a vital management tool that analyzes USACE public recreation fatality statistic trends nationwide, identifies key educational messages for target groups, and recommends actions that can lead to reducing public fatalities. As an effective partner with the nonprofit community, she was instrumental in forming the Riverlands Association, the first official cooperating association partner with the Corps. She also led a national team in the development of a Corps and Student Conservation Association Public Safety Intern training program focused on water safety and interpretation. Rachel has been an outstanding teacher, mentor, leader and manager. Her legacy of accomplishments in the recreation community of practice will benefit Corps employees for years to come.

Stan Hinatsu works as Recreation Program Manager at the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (NSA), one of the first Congressionally designated NSA’s in the country, a unique, highly visible and highly political setting for his work as a recreation professional. During his 22-year tenure at the Gorge, he has had a lasting impact on the agency’s recreation program and the many partner organizations he works with daily. He helped develop and implement recreation plans, site plans, facility design, and construction for numerous sites throughout the Gorge, with many requiring significant public involvement and coordination with numerous agency partners and private land owners. Through his direct involvement, the NSA was a founding and continuing partner in the development and delivery of the Urban Nature Overnights and Zoo Animal Presenters Programs with The Oregon Zoo, which introduces at risk and minority youth to outdoor skills and public lands. This past year, Stan teamed up with the Regional Accessibility Program Manager to pilot a series of Accessible Adventures Videos highlighting accessible recreation opportunities in the Gorge. The project resulted in five five-minute videos that are featured prominently on the NSA and Region’s websites and were showcased on last fall. The success of these videos has led to plans for new components to the series at two National Forests. Stan recently led an Interagency Sustainable Recreation Strategy for the NSA, requiring him to work with multiple land management agencies responsible for lands in the NSA. This strategy outlines new ways for agencies to coordinate more effectively to address the shortfall in capacity to manage existing recreation sites. More than any other person, Stan has become “the Forest Service face of the Columbia River Gorge.” Stan Hinatsu truly is a Legend.

David LaRoche has served with the Kansas Division of the Federal Highway Administration for over 20 years. He has held several positions, beginning as an Assistant Bridge Engineer and currently serves as the Safety and Traffic Engineer. As FHWA’s Kansas Division representative, David supports various Federal-aid programs relating to recreation, including transportation enhancements, scenic byways, recreational trails, safe routes to school, and general benefits for bicycling, walking, and safety. He works with a number of organizations, including the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and Kansas Department of Transportation, in providing safe recreational and alternative transportation corridors. He works with the state and with others within FHWA to ensure that proposed projects are eligible and appropriate for Federal-aid funds. David is also the Division’s expert on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and has promoted accessibility in trail design. He recently worked with the city of Garnett, Kansas to address accessibility issues and to update their accessibility plan. He uses his knowledge of the ADA program to ensure that trails, paths, and other facilities are accessible to all users. He also helped develop a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Kansas Department of Transportation to develop a transportation enhancement-funded pedestrian and bicycle path on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Reservation in Jackson County. David provided this agreement to be a model for others. He also provides useful input for headquarters staff when questions arise relating to safety, bicycling and walking, trails, transportation enhancements, and more, extending his service far beyond Kansas to the entire country.

Jerry Willis is a Community Planner for the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program in New York City. Jerry has brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to actualize the vision of The Harlem River Greenway. Due directly to his partnership-building work, the New York City Mayor's office recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for a $60 million rehabilitation of the High Bridge on the Harlem River, which will provide a unique pedestrian connection between the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. This project has laid the groundwork for additional investments by other stakeholders. Jerry recently coordinated a week-long Harlem River Festival, which brought together community members and organizations to celebrate the rebirth of the Harlem River, with assistance from the U.S. Geological Survey for citizen water quality monitoring, paddling activities for youth, log-rolling contests, and much more. Jerry has also demonstrated the power of partnering through his work with the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. Key partners include Amtrak, the Bronx River Alliance, and the New York City Department of Transportation, as well as staff from Congressman José Serrano's office. Their goal is development of a partnership for restoring greenways and providing access to urban waters and green space in underserved neighborhoods. Under Jerry's leadership, the project has a strong community-based vision for the future and a strategy to pursue funding for implementation. Although documenting and communicating the progress of community projects is not always easy, Jerry has enhanced his efforts with the effective use of smartphone and tablet technology. Overall, he has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the National Park Service and the successful facilitation of community conservation and outdoor recreation projects.

For more information on the 2013 Legends Awards or other aspects of Great Outdoors Week, contact the American Recreation Coalition at 202-682-9530 or

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