Department of the Interior

Office of the Secretary
CONTACT: Shane Wolfe
For Immediate Release: May 24, 2005
(202) 208-6416

Interior Secretary Gale Norton announces designation of first Take Pride in America school
Norton joined by actor Clint Eastwood in Carmel, California


(CARMEL, CA) Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, joined by actor and national spokesman for Take Pride in America Clint Eastwood, today announced the Carmel River School in Carmel, California as the first Take Pride in America School.

The announcement followed a wetlands restoration project involving 52 Carmel River School students at the Carmel River State Park, along with Secretary Norton, Eastwood, youth from the California Conservation Corps, and other volunteers.

5/24/2005 -- Take Pride in America executive director Marti Allbright, Interior Secretary Gale Norton and actor/director Clint Eastwood joined the celebration with students of Carmel River School, which was designated the nation's first "Take Pride in America" School. More photos

To be designated as a Take Pride in America School, a school must commit to participating in two Take Pride in America volunteer projects each year benefiting public lands. Participation can be by an entire school, a class or even an after-school club. Designated schools are eligible for national awards, as well as other recognition.

“I am pleased to announce both the Take Pride School program, and the designation of Carmel River School as our first Take Pride School,” said Norton. “The faculty, staff, parents and students of Carmel River School have made a conscious decision to make both community service and environmental education priorities for the students. Principal Jay Marden is setting a wonderful example of leadership in these priorities. We are proud to welcome Carmel River School into the Take Pride program,” said Norton.

In addressing students, staff and parents and Take Pride in America partners at the school, Secretary Norton and Take Pride in America executive director Marti Allbright both expressed their gratitude to Clint Eastwood, who serves as the national spokesman for Take Pride in America. Earlier in the day, Eastwood recorded a series of public service announcements to air nationally later this year. Secretary Norton presented Eastwood with a special Take Pride in America award to commemorate his contributions of time and talent to the program.

“I am very happy to help further the mission of Take Pride in America. It was a cause I supported when it was first launched 20 years ago, and the message of caring for our public lands is one that I continue to support,” said Eastwood.

The public service announcements recorded today will air on national and local broadcast and cable outlets beginning this summer.

Take Pride in America,® part of the Department of the Interior, is a national partnership program that encourages, supports and recognizes volunteers who work to improve our public parks, forests, grasslands, reservoirs, wildlife refuges, cultural and historic sites, local playgrounds, and other recreation areas. With more than 100 Charter Partners, Take Pride involves Federal, state and local governments; conservation, youth and recreation groups; and top national corporations and organizations. Together, we protect and enhance the special legacy all Americans share – our public lands that cover more than one in every three acres across the Nation. For more information visit: http://www.takepride.gov/.

Carmel River School, part of the Carmel Unified School District, is a public school serving nearly 400 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Following a recent parent survey in which parents expressed interest in their children becoming more involved in community service activities, Carmel River School has already this year engaged in four volunteer projects, including one tsunami relief effort which raised more than $5,000. Jay Marden is the principal of Carmel River School.

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