TUPELO, MS: The Natchez Trace Parkway awarded the annual “Steve Ritter Volunteer of the Year Award” to Tupelo-area volunteer Shirley Scott on Friday, October 17, 2014. Ms. Scott was one of over 60 individual Volunteers-In-Parks (VIP) personnel honored at the Natchez Trace Parkway’s annual volunteer appreciation banquet. The Volunteer of the Year award is named after the late Steve Ritter, a dedicated member of the Tombigbee Pioneer Association.
Ms. Shirley Scott received the award in appreciation for over twelve years and almost three thousand hours of dedicated volunteer service to the Natchez Trace Parkway. “Shirley always arrives at the park with a cheerful attitude and has been so generous with her time in assisting us. From organizing the bookstore inventory to putting together visitor information packets; Shirley will complete any task assigned to her with a smile,” said Chief of Interpretation Terry Wildy.
In 2014 over 200 volunteers have donated over eleven thousand hours to assisting staff at the Natchez Trace Parkway. Volunteers donated their time working as campground hosts, musicians, trail crews, visitor center staff and living history representatives. Superintendent Mary Risser states “The National Park Service is very grateful to the thousands of volunteers nationwide who contribute so much to our national parks. Our local volunteers at the Parkway are critical to supporting our paid staff in our effort to provide visitor services and improve trails.”