Long-time LandPaths' Volunteer Matt Lopez has won the Sonoma County Environmental Youth award! Matt won the award for his noteworthy progress from a novice volunteer into an enthusiastic and inspiring summer counselor with Landpaths' Owl Camp.
LandPaths was eager to nominate Matt Lopez for the award, and proud (though not at all surprised) when he won. Here is our nomination statement in full:
"Matt Lopez, now a Parks and Recreation student at Santa Rosa Junior College, has been quietly but confidently serving as an environmental role model and mentor to local youth for the past five years. We first got to know Matt when he participated as a mentor in LandPaths' outdoor education program --IOOBY (In Our Own Back Yard). Part of the Windsor High Environmental Core, Matt came to Riverfront Park dozens of times throughout the 2009-10 school year to work with 6th grade students. While we have worked with hundreds of youth in this age-range, Matt has stood out as someone who was eager to spread his passion of the outdoors to younger kids.
In 2010, Matt took great initiative and dedicated three full weeks of his summer to becoming a LandPaths' Owl Camp intern. We couldn't offer much in the way of reciprocity, yet got the impression that there was nowhere that Matt would rather be. The kids just fell in love with his enthusiasm. In 2011, he returned, accepting as compensation only a scholarship for his younger brother. In 2012, we were pleased to hire Matt as a Junior Counselor.
Over the years we have been continually impressed with Matt's dedication to the field of environmental education and to passing on a bit of his love of the outdoors to other young people. More importantly, we've all been touched by what that actually LOOKS LIKE -- floating upside down in Mark West Creek, fully clothed, with a net, blowing bubbles, bringing crawdads to the surface and being met with squeals of delight from all sides. It is with great gratitude to him, and hope for the future, that we nominate Matt Lopez for the Environmental Youth Award."
Contents (c) 2008 by Land Partners Through Stewardship (Landpaths) Site Credits