The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) has selected four federal programs and efforts as recipients of the 2012 Beacon Awards, which recognize outstanding efforts by federal agencies and partners in harnessing the power of technology to improve public recreation experiences and federal recreation program management.

Beacon Awards were first presented by the American Recreation Coalition in 2005. Nominations are made by federal agencies and are judged against the award criteria – which are:

• Innovative use of technology for visitor services or recreation management.

• Use of partnerships with for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

• Efforts to share news of creative solutions within the agency.

• Community support for the work of this initiative.

The recipients of ARC’s 2012 Beacon Awards were honored during Great Outdoors Week on Monday (June 4) at a ceremony in the Rachel Carson Room of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Stewart Udall Building. Honorees are:

• Interagency Fee Working Group: Enabled American seniors to obtain lifetime federal lands passes via the Internet and use of videoconferencing solutions to coordinate the planning for and implementation of the new active duty military America the Beautiful Pass program.

• Carmen Leong-Minch, San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex,

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Used creativity and technology to connect people to nature and introduce non-traditional audiences to national wildlife refuges

• Grand Teton National Park. National Park Service: Used technology-based initiatives allowing the park to reach key audiences, including the successful education program centered on a live-feed program called ‘Snow Desk.’

• “Stay The Trail” Campaign, Bureau of Land Management and Responsible

Recreation Foundation: Combined two essential ingredients for 21st Century recreation programs – partnerships and technology – in its “Stay the Trail” program which uses signs, brochures and training programs to reach off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders with messages about responsible use of public lands.

For more information on Great Outdoors Week, visit www.funoutdoors.com.