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Two Honored For Distinguished Careers As Maryland Park Rangers
Edgemere, MD — Two former Maryland Park Service (MPS) rangers, whose long careers exemplified the ideals and traditions of the service, recently received the Edmund Prince Award. MPS Superintendent Nita Settina presented John W. Norbeck of Harrisburg, Pa. and Walter Sandy of Rohrsville, Md. with the award recently at the spring manager’s meeting. The award is named for Maryland’s very first park ranger and is given to those who distinguish themselves in this role.
“Our dedicated rangers enhance the park experience for visitors in countless ways,” said Governor Martin O’Malley said. “John Norbeck and Walter Sandy remind us that in addition to being blessed with rich natural resources, Maryland parks are also blessed with people who are absolutely committed to providing exemplary public service and protecting those resources.”
Norbeck began his career as a seasonal ranger while attending Roanoke College in Salem, Va. During nearly three decades of service, he held a variety of leadership positions -- including regional park manager, chief of law enforcement and chief of field operations. A Jessup native, who grew up loving outdoors sports such as backpacking, camping, rock climbing and spelunking, he currently serves as director of the Bureau of State Parks in Pennsylvania.
Sandy, who grew up on a family farm just outside of Hagerstown, was one of the first rangers assigned to the then-new Gunpowder Falls State Park and his career and the park’s history are intertwined. His colleagues credit the 31-year veteran with nurturing both the park where he spent his career and the young rangers who came under his tutelage. One of his favorite war stories involves the Christmas he was on the prowl for tree poachers and came across a young couple who had voluntarily decorated a tree in the woods. Sandy adopted the tradition for several years, an act that illustrates his relationship with the park and the community it serves.
“Although Walter retired from the Park Service in 1990, his legacy continues today, not only through the park itself, which he nurtured in its youth, but also through those of us who were lucky enough to be young rangers under his wing,” said 2nd Lt. Peyton Taylor, Gunpowder Falls State Park Assistant Manager. “Walter taught by example to seek the good, and to value even the smallest moments in life. Honoring him with the Edmund Prince award reminds all of us of our obligation to pass on what was given so graciously to us.”
The Edmund Prince Award, named for Maryland’s first park ranger, honors those who personify the culture, heritage, and proud tradition of the Maryland Park Service, a division of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Prince, whose legacy dates back more than 100 years, truly epitomized the role of a Ranger in Maryland’s state parks and is held in the highest regard in this field of work.
May 22, 2008
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov.