Vote For America’s Ranger of the Year

March 27, 2009 at 8:26 am 3 comments

Have you had a great experience with a park ranger this year? Vote for them for America’s Ranger of the Year (Deadline: March 31, 2009).

I voted for Danny Martin of Philpott Lake for his work with the American Chestnut planting.

Philpott Lake -  Danny Martin Talking (Close)
Vicky’s Nomination – Danny Martin

Of course, the voting is write-ins. That opens the door for another winner– Stephen Colbert.

Colbert’s had quite some success with write-in votes. He’s fresh off his win of NASA’s online contest to name a new room in the International Space Station. “Stephen Colbert” received 230,539 write-in votes. He beat out a NASA provided choice, “Serenity”, by 40,000.

So watch out, Park Rangers! : )


Actual Winner- Stephen Colbert?
(Photo from thelastminute)

Entry filed under: American Chestnut Foundation, Danny Martin, Stephen Colbert. Tags: .

links for 2009-03-26 Silo Tree Additions – March 29, 2009

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. scienceguy288  |  March 27, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    I didn’t know that he actually won! Amazing. Question is , will they make it official?

    Reply
  • 2. tgaw  |  March 28, 2009 at 1:09 am

    @scienceguy288 – Yeah! I just read the news yesterday. We’ll see how NASA proceeds.

    Did you know Colbert also has a species of spider named after him? 🙂

    Reply
  • 3. Lynn Pritchett  |  September 26, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    The text below is taken from the September 20, 2009 Martinsville Bulletin. http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com Danny Martin’s biography was the feature story for the Piedmont Profile in a newspaper article titled “Dedicated to the Outdoors”. There were two photographs of him; one at the Philpott Dam Overlook and one along a hiking trail. The text, pasted below, indicates he was one of five silver medal winners in Reserve American/The Camping Club’s 2009 Ranger of the Year contest.

    By DEBBIE HALL
    Bulletin Staff Writer
    In a perfect world, protecting the environment would be a top priority. In Danny Martin’s world, it already is.
    “I grew up in a sawmill family. I’ve always loved the outdoors,” said Martin, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park ranger at Philpott Lake and recently one of five silver medal winners in Reserve America/The Camping Club’s 2009 Ranger of the Year contest.
    The annual award is “given to the country’s top rangers who dedicate their careers to serving park visitors while preserving public lands for future generations,” according to the Web site http://www.thecampingclub.
    With many rangers across the U.S., Martin knew snaring a win in the competition was a long shot.
    “I didn’t see anyone” from a federal agency while looking over a list of winners over the last few years, Martin said.
    He was the only federal employee to be selected in 2009, according to online information at the Camping Club’s Web site. Other silver medal winners were from state parks in New Hampshire, Florida, Louisiana and Wisconsin, the site states. The two gold medal winners were from state facilities in Colorado.
    Although his name may be on the award delivered later this year, Martin attributes his success to his wife, teamwork among employees at Philpott and doing what he loves.
    “The staff here are very dedicated to all of the missions the corps has … It’s a good team effort and a good organization to be part of,” Martin said.
    Martin said his wife has an important role in his personal success.
    “I think Susan deserves this as much as I do. She’s very supportive,” Martin said, adding he and Susan Martin work together on a number of programs, including a water safety venture that includes another family member, Bobber, a mixed breed dog they found abandoned on the side of the road.
    The couple adopted the canine and trained it to help teach water safety programs to youngsters and others. It is a successful venture, Martin said.
    During its first 45 years of operation, Martin said there were 47 accidental drownings at Philpott Lake. In the last 11 years, there have been none.
    “I’m extremely proud of that record,” Martin said.
    He and Susan Martin also work on interpretive programs aimed at teaching people how wild animals such as bears and coyotes behave, Martin said.
    “Understanding their behavior is the first step to getting along with them,” Martin said, adding Hunter and Boater education classes for the state Department of Game & Inland Fisheries also are taught at Philpott now.
    Regardless of the topic, safety is a central theme in all interpretive programs, Martin said.
    Understanding the environment also is important, because Martin said people protect what they care about. Getting people to take ownership and help protect the environment is the ultimate goal, he said.
    A quote from a National Park Service employee is his personal creed. Paraphrasing, he said, “Knowledge brings understanding; understanding brings appreciation; and appreciation brings protection.”
    A member of the District Water Safety team and the Philpott-Fairy Stone Safety Council, Martin also contributes to interpretive activities by using models and displays, brochures and activities to encourage visitors to conduct additional research.
    He won national recognition for Philpott by partnering with The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) to plant a blight resistant ceremonial tree at the lake.
    He also was invited to speak at the International Boating and Water Safety Summit in Tampa, Fla., and was selected as one of six rangers to participate in promoting water safety at the Corps of Engineers’ Headquarters Organization Day event in Washington, D.C.
    Martin is a native of Martinsville. He started working as a full-time, permanent ranger at Philpott in 2005, after working in several different fields — often two at a time for much of his life.
    He spent seven years as a ranger at Fairy Stone State Park, and for five of those years, simultaneously taught math at Patrick County High School.
    Martin also worked for 16 years as a design engineer at DuPont while teaching school, and spent eight-years as an investigator with the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office before leaving for his current position.
    At age 61, Martin said he has no plans to retire.
    “I’ve said I’ll probably die in mid-stride,” he quipped.

    Reply

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