Liza Stearns, an education specialist with Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Massachusetts, won the National Park Service’s 2011 Freeman Tilden Award for excellence in interpretation. Stearns was honored for creating the “Good Neighbors: Landscape Design and Community Building” program for local third-grade students.
Stearns received the award during the annual National Association for Interpretation workshop in St. Paul.
The curriculum-based Good Neighbors program introduces students to landscape concepts and the opportunity to design their own landscapes. In pre-visit classroom activities, students learn about Frederick Law Olmsted and consider how landscape architecture affects their lives. During a park visit, the youth are taught how to read the landscape, draw plant specimens and compare different design zones.
Award nominees were judged on creativity, originality and positive contributions toward enhancing public understanding of national park resources. The other nominees for the national 2011 Freeman Tilden Award were:
Jay Elhard – Denali National Park and Preserve
Cheryl Messenger – Mammoth Cave National Park
Debra Mills – Catoctin Mountain Park
Denise Robertson – Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Arrye Rosser – Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Rebecca Wiles – White Sands National Monument
For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/tildenaward.htm.