Last year Tom and I basically started the Living History program at Fort Frederica. Previously the rangers had done it occasionally and some volunteers came in for special events. Tom and I made living history a weekly occurrence. This year the living history program really expanded. We were out there three or four days a week and it wasn’t just the two of us. Instead there were four volunteers couples who all took turns doing living history. When we were all in place we had a village of demonstrators. The National Park Service recognized the expansion of the Fort Frederica program and gave the Hartzog Award for the Southeast Region to Fort Frederica.
The Hartzog Awards recognize outstanding volunteer programs in the national parks. Our Volunteer Coordinator, Ranger Michael, filled out the form that won the award. He is proud of the job the volunteers are doing at Fort Frederica. Awards can be given to individuals, for a special event, or for the volunteer program in general.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that the Hartzog Award in the Southeast Region was won by Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine. Based on the scoring system used, their program came in .01 point ahead of Fort Frederica. But the Regional Director decided that the scores were so close that the Castillo and Fort Frederica would both be declared winners. The letter from the Regional Director stated, “because the FOFR nomination was so very close and because we know the effort the park has put to your VIP program, I am awarding two regional Hartzog winners for Outstanding Park Program this year.”
The Volunteer in the Park program started in 1970 and every year volunteers become more important in helping to run park programs. Last year, more than 246,000 people donated time to the national parks. Tom and I have now contributed over 7,000 volunteer hours to the national parks. We are proud to be part of the group that helped Fort Frederica win the regional Hartzog Award.