(KFVS) - Shawnee National Forest's Kelly Pearson was named Champion of the Year for her work to develop the next generation of resource professionals, outdoor enthusiasts and community leaders, says Partnership for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps.
"This is the highlight of my career," says Pearson, whose work has engaged thousands of people.
She will be honored Feb. 12 at the annual Partnership for the 21CSC meeting in Washington, D.C.
Shawnee National Forest recently recognized Pearson's achievement and her hard work by naming her the forest's Employee of the Quarter.
People donate about 14,450 hours of their time each year through Shawnee Volunteer Corps, a program that Pearson created.
Volunteers pick-up trash, identify and preserve historic sites, build and maintain trails, improve wildlife habitat and work to combat non-native, invasive species.
Pearson also developed the Master Trail Steward Program, a college-level training course with Shawnee Community College.
It provides certificate-level training for people interested in the design, construction and maintenance of trails and trail systems in America's forests and wilderness areas.
Led by The Corps Network and Conservation Legacy, the Partnership for the 21CSC is an advisory group of federal, state, local and nonprofit leaders that supports the development and implementation of the 21CSC to reach its goal of being a preeminent strategy for addressing America's most pressing conservation and disaster response needs.
Learn more at www.21CSC.org.