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Deception Pass volunteer honored

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has announced the recipients of the 2009 Volunteer Recognition Awards for outstanding volunteer service.

State Parks works with volunteers throughout the state to continue enhancing agency efficiency and to stretch funding. Last year, volunteers performed 326,752 hours of work, equal to 157 full-time employees.

Among the award winners is Liz Merriman of Oak Harbor, honored as Volunteer of the Year for Interpretation.

Merriman received the award for her long-term work to protect and educate people about the sensitive environment of north Whidbey Island. Merriman joined and became president of the Deception Pass Park Foundation.

“Under her leadership, the foundation has grown tremendously in its financial strength, legal standing, public outreach and regional reputation,” said Deception Pass Park Manager Jack Hartt.

Donations to the Foundation have increased and the funding has been used for park projects and visitor education.

In 2009, projects funded by the foundation included protective signs on Goose Rock, interpretive signage at the West Beach Dune Trail, development of park educational materials, gravel for trails and a variety of other projects.

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