Forest Service Recognizes Special Volunteers

Release Date: Feb 1, 2013  

Contact(s): Teena Ligman, Public Affairs Specialist, 812-275-5987

Bedford North Lawrence Special Kids receive a Volunteer Award in 2012.

Bedford, IN – (February 1, 2013) The 15-state Eastern Region of the US Forest Service awarded two honors to Indiana volunteers for 2012. “With such a large region and so many nominations, it is a real tribute to our volunteers that two awards were received on the Hoosier,” said Melany Glossa, Forest Supervisor.

The Regional Volunteer Awards recognize outstanding volunteers in eight categories. Bill Flamion from Tell City received an award for his Campground Host work. Flamion volunteers to mow many of the recreation areas on the Hoosier National Forest. He uses his own equipment and enjoys the work.

Locally, an award was received by the Bedford North Lawrence (BNL) Special Kids for eight years of service to the Hoosier National Forest. In addition to a recipient in each of the eight categories, there were four honorable mention awards. This is where the BNL Special Kids were recognized.

This group has been coming to the Forest for about eight years. Over time, students have come and gone in the program, but what has never changed is the difference their work for the Forest makes in their lives, and the difference they make on the Forest.

The students come by bus each week for 1 to 2 hours. They do a variety of administrative jobs including tri-folding recreation fliers and letters to be mailed, attaching address labels, or stuffing envelopes. Job coaches accompany the group to supervise and help the students.

The number of students and coaches vary each year. In 2012, there were six students and three coaches. Last year the group volunteered 256 hours while laughing and learning.

Regionally the students are part of the 10,058 volunteers who contributed $7.5 million worth of work to the Forest Service in 2012. The BNL Special Kids and their dedicated coaches provide a valuable service and help the Hoosier in their mission of caring for the land and serving people.

Anyone interested in volunteering should call Teena Ligman at the Hoosier National Forest office at (812) 275-5987 or email

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Recreational activities on our lands contribute $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.