Eddy receives prestigious National Park Service award

Published 12:12 pm Thursday, February 21, 2019

Pamela Eddy, a ranger at the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, was recently honored with the highest recognition given in the National Park Service for excellence in interpretation and education.

Eddy received the 2018 Freeman Tilden Award for the Southeast region of the National Park Service.

She was recognized for her leadership in the planning and implementation of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park’s 2017 “National Park’s 101 – Become a Dream Ranger,” a placed-based course that offered opportunities for park visitors to be immersed in history, nature and mountain culture.

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Working in concert with other park staff at Big South Fork National River and Recreational Area, Obed Wild and Scenic River, and historic sites in Virginia along the Wilderness Road Trail, Eddy was successful in bringing a broad spectrum of experiences for the participants.

“Her unique interpretive style of visitor participation in programs have earned the respect and admiration by her peers and transformed the lives of the local community,” said Carol Borneman, the park’s Chief of Interpretation and Education, who nominated Eddy for the award.

The inspiration for “National Park’s 101 — Become a Dream Ranger” was sparked by Eddy’s discussions with visitors who said they dreamed at a young age of becoming a park ranger. She understood that dream because it reminded her of when she was young and took a family vacation across the United States that included many stops at national parks.

“I held that dream tightly within my heart and never let it fade away,” Eddy said. “Today, a picture from that family vacation and a young me at Mount Rushmore National Memorial is prominently displayed in my office.”

Eddy was presented with the award at the National Association for Interpretation Conference in New Orleans.