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West Virginia State Parks presents Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteerism & Leadership to Jim Michael

The Morgan Messenger

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — Stumped about how to properly recognize the contributions of Jim Michael to Cacapon State Park and the entire West Virginia State Parks system, state park officials invented a new honorarium and presented it to Michael on April 13.

Michael received the first-ever West Virginia State Parks Lifetime Achievement Award in Leadership and Volunteerism.

Head of parks Brad Reed joined many individuals, the Cacapon State Park Foundation and park officials at Cacapon State Park to honor Michael’s long service as volunteer and leader.

“For Jim, we couldn’t think of an existing award that would measure up to Jims’s commitment to the park system and his personal legacy.  So, we created one,” Reed told the crowd.

Michael became president of the Cacapon State Park Foundation in 1996 and led the organization as it added features to the park that the public could enjoy in addition to the natural beauty of the land. That included the playground, gazebo and picnic shelters, accessible trail and overlook platform, plus the entire Nature Center with its educational features and facility.

“Renovations to the old inn, tennis and basketball courts, purchase of various equipment for the park, and our continued trail clean up days, annual homecoming, and dinners. In my 10 years at Cacapon, I often had to give park tours to visiting dignitaries with an interest in the park.  It was always quite striking to me that when I did so, every exciting new facility or amenity that I was showcasing, had been built by the foundation,” Reed said.

Because of the success of Cacapon’s park foundation, a statewide park foundation was formed, and Michael served as its president as well.

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