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Lewis & Clark receives Friends of Tryon Award

April 16, 2013

Friends of Tryon Creek is an organization that creates ways for community members to experience and appreciate Tryon Creek State Natural Area, and strives to protect the environment of the park. Each year they acknowledge partners that have helped them achieve their purpose, and this year Lewis & Clark accepted one of these partnership awards.

The following interview between Amy Dvorak, Sustainability Manager at Lewis & Clark, and David Cohen, the executive director of Friends of Tryon, further details the college’s relationship with the nearby state park.

Amy Dvorak: What is the Partnership Award and how are awardees selected?

David Cohen: The Celebration of Friends is our annual meeting where we hand out our Annual Report which highlights our accomplishments as well as recognize volunteers and organizations who have helped us achieve those benchmarks. We give out about 8 volunteer awards as well as what we call partnership awards. Each year FOTC chooses to highlight an organization that has helped us to achieve our goals, helping us leverage resources to do more than we could have done on our own. Groups like the Friends are successful when we create meaningful relationships with others who share our values and goals and expand our potential. We are only as strong as these relationships since we are so dependent on others to help us get our work done.

Amy Dvorak: How did Lewis & Clark meet these specific requirements? 

David Cohen:   L&C supported us through the Community Engagement office, with their willingness to connect students to many of our projects. This feels like such an obvious   relationship – the students basically being in our backyard with many looking for ways to get connected to the community. Yet our relationship in the past has been sporadic and inconsistent, based on the interests of particular professors usually. My goal was to see if we could build something more formal or regular, in terms of communicating opportunities here with the college helping to raise awareness of the work the Friends were doing and our need for assistance. Secondly, having Michel George join our board was a huge “gift” from the university, helping to cement this relationship and keep a more formal line of communication between the two entities. His wisdom and good thinking his already making a difference here. Michel was also responsible for getting the university to donate a space for us to use for a fundraising event, something which was critical to the success of that effort. So, due to all this activity, we felt it important to recognize the school as a way to show our appreciation and as a way to further cement this relationship.

This recognition will serve as motivation for students and faculty to become even more involved at Tryon Creek. Protecting the beautiful park will continue to benefit both the environment of Tyron and the education of the students of Lewis & Clark.


Submitted by Sustainability Manager Amy Dvorak.