News Stories

Park Ranger Collins wins SAD Second Quarter Educational Award

USACE, Mobile District
Published June 17, 2024
Woman standing on a pier in front of a lake.

Caption: Park Ranger Christina Collins is recognized with the South Atlantic Division Quarter 2 Outstanding Educational Award at Prairie Creek Campground, near Lowndesboro, Alabama, June 12, 2024. This award highlights her exceptional contributions to educational outreach and community engagement. (U.S. Army photo by Travis England).

By Travis England

HAYNEVILLE, Ala. – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger, Christina Collins, has been honored with the South Atlantic Division Outstanding Education Award for her exceptional efforts in promoting environmental awareness in the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year. Christina’s remarkable work, especially her coordination of the Alabama River Lakes’ inaugural Earth Day event, has significantly impacted the local community, fostering a deeper connection to nature.

“I was surprised that I won the SAD Outstanding Education Award. There are so many Park Rangers doing good things in the district, and I am honored that I have been recognized,” said Collins’ reflecting on her recognition.
The Earth Day event, held at the Gunter Hill Campground, was a testament to Collins commitment to environmental education. “I planned activities for kids that would be educational, fun, and costeffective,” she explained. With creativity and resourcefulness, Collins gathered materials for the event, including pinecones from a coworker’s yard and egg cartons from office colleagues. The event featured hands-on activities such as making pinecone bird feeders, a scavenger hunt, and various educational games and displays.

Collins’ passion for sustainable development and environmental stewardship is rooted in her academic background.

“I majored in Sustainable Development in college, so protecting the earth and preserving its resources for future generations is very important to me. Educating children, who are the future stewards of the world, is a vital part of that,” she emphasized. 

Supervisory Natural Resource Specialist and Collins’ supervisor, Kelli Little, highlighted her initiative and dedication, stating, “Christina’s love for the environment and wildlife is evident in her everyday work. She has taken the initiative to create environmental programs for the local youth. Earth Day highlighted some of those activities and was a great event for our campers and local visitors.”

Looking ahead, Collins said she is enthusiastic about making the Earth Day event an annual tradition. “I definitely plan to do this event again next year. I’ll likely use many of the same activities but hope to add new ones such as a nature walk that would include plant and animal identifications. I want this to be an annual event that families look forward to each year.”

Collins’ ambition and dedication to environmental education have made a lasting impact on the Alabama River Lakes community, inspiring both children and adults to become better stewards of our planet.