SCA Founding President Liz Putnam Receives The Wilderness Society's Robert Marshall Award

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Elizabeth Cushman Titus Putnam, who in 1957 founded the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and sparked the American youth conservation movement, tonight received The Wilderness Society's Robert Marshall Award in Washington, DC. The Marshall Award, the Society's highest citizen's honor, recognizes long-term service to conservation.

"I am deeply grateful and accept this award on behalf of SCA's members and alumni, and all the young people who volunteer to make our world and our wilderness a safer and better place," Ms. Putnam said.

SCA builds the next generation of conservation leaders by empowering young people of all backgrounds to plan, act, and lead, while they protect and restore the nation's natural and cultural resources. Independent studies show the SCA experience also fuels participants' continuous growth and advancement.

To date, more than 80,000 high school, college and graduate students served with SCA in national parks, state forests and municipal green spaces, and 70% of SCA alumni continue to work or study in the conservation field. Additionally, SCA served as the blueprint for many other youth service initiatives including the National Park Service's Youth Conservation Corps and Volunteers in Parks (VIP) program, and myriad state and local conservation corps.

Ms. Putnam was a student herself when she conceived of the idea for SCA. In her 1955 Vassar College senior thesis, she proposed a modern day Civilian Conservation Corps in which student volunteers would come to the aid of National Parks, where surging visitation rates were outpacing maintenance budgets. Assisted by colleague Martha Hayne Talbot, Ms. Putnam earned the support of officials both in and out of the National Park Service, and the first SCA volunteers reported to Grand Teton and Olympic National Parks in 1957. Today, SCA members serve federal, state and municipal natural and cultural sites nationwide.

Robert Marshall was an advocate for wilderness and a principal founder of The Wilderness Society.

Ms. Putnam is also a recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Audubon Society's Rachel Carson Award, and the National Wildlife Federation's Conservation Achievement Award, among many other citations. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has referred to Ms. Putnam as "the Mother of the youth conservation movement."

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CONTACT: Kevin Hamilton Student Conservation Association 603-372-7068

Source:The Student Conservation Association