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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan,, 804-786-2292.

Date: May 13, 2003
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442,

Natural Tunnel State Park volunteer receives award

(RICHMOND) - Stewart Scales, a volunteer at Natural Tunnel State Park, is a regional winner of the "May the Month for Children in Virginia Award."

The 14 year-old Powell Valley High School sophomore is a dedicated volunteer at Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield, Va. Scales, one of 19 award winners from across the Commonwealth, has volunteered 171 hours in the past 12 months.

"This young man represents the best of the next generation, and this recognition is well deserved," said Joe Elton, state parks director for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. "Stewart is a fixture at Natural Tunnel - he began volunteering at the park when he was only eight years old."

Since 1997, the Virginia General Assembly recognizes May as the Month for Children in Virginia, and the award honors the significant contributions made by young people and their mentors to home, school, church and community.

"Volunteers are the backbone of Virginia State Parks," said DCR Director Joseph H. Maroon. "Our Camp Hosts, friends groups, Natural Area Stewards and other volunteer programs allow our visitors and supporters to donate their most valuable resource, their time. Our natural resources are better preserved and maintained because of the efforts of volunteers like Stewart Scales."

For information about volunteer opportunities in Virginia State Parks, visit

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