DENVER, June 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Recreation.gov announced three grand prize winners for its inaugural "Share Your Story" contest, which allowed participants to submit stories and photos highlighting their outdoor adventures. A panel of judges selected the winners from nearly 1,200 entries.
The grand prize winners were rewarded with gift cards to an outdoor retailer and an America the Beautiful, the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass.
"The inspiring stories submitted to the contest solidified the trends we've seen over the past year – people across the nation were eager to get outside and experience nature in a whole new way," said Rick DeLappe, Program Manager at Recreation.gov. "We're proud that Recreation.gov could play a small part in helping travelers find peace, tranquility and adventure during a difficult year."
The 2020-2021 "Share Your Story" contest grand prize winners:
Grand Prize and April Winner: Julie Midura's story, "The Hike of a Lifetime," detailed her most memorable hiking adventure, which was shared with her mother Madelyn, her mother's fiancé Herve, and her husband Tom. At the age of 53, Julia has trekked up numerous mountains, but at the ages of 75 and 83, Madelyn and Herve have not. Wanting to share the thrilling experience with her mother, Julie brought her mom and Herve on a hike of a lifetime to the White Mountains, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's White Mountain National Forest. Julie received one $2,500 gift card from an outdoor retailer and one America the Beautiful, the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass.
Grand Prize Second Place: In "I Wasn't Prepared For This," Serenity Lesley received a new sense of gratitude and vision for her life after trekking the grounds of US Department of Interior's Paria Canyon, within the Vermillion Cliffs. With days of a rationed water supply, aching backs and destressed feet, Serenity's instinctual survival techniques kicked in and began preparing for the worst. After experiencing a mental breakthrough, she made it out of the light and made it back toward her friends. Serenity received one $1,500 gift card from an outdoor retailer and one America the Beautiful, the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass.
Grand Prize Third Place: In the story, "The Road Less Traveled: Winter in Yellowstone," Debjani Mallick was longing to return to nature after months of hibernation during the pandemic. With a great sense of urgency and adventure, Debjani made his annual visit to US National Park Services' Yellowstone National Park, but this time in the peak of winter. During this cold and isolated time, Debjani's visit revealed many new perspectives and different ways to experience a place he already knew and loved. Debjani received one $1,000 gift card from an outdoor retailer and one America the Beautiful, the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass.
"So many of the stories submitted to the contest focused on gratitude – for the park staff and for the ability to get outside during the pandemic," said Julie McPherson, Executive Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton. "Booz Allen is proud to sponsor the "Share Your Story" contest and we are inspired by the travelers' words of appreciation toward these national parks and federal public lands. As summer travel ramps up, we look forward to adventurers bringing home more stories and discovering new experiences through the tools and resources available on Recreation.gov."
Stories and accompanying photos took place between January 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021 and were within the facilities of participating agencies: National Park Service; U.S. Bureau of Land Management; U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Forest Service; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; National Archives; NOAA Marine Sanctuaries. Read this year's entries to inspire your next adventure: https://www.recreation.gov/shareyourstory/story-gallery
This contest was administered by Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. (the "Administrator"), 575 Herndon Parkway, Herndon, VA 20170, who is solely responsible for the administration of this contest and the purchase, selection and awarding of the prizes, as defined below. You can access our complete toolkit with graphics and descriptions here: https://www.recreation.gov/media-center.
About Recreation.gov This website is a tool to plan your next trip, figure out details, and reserve experiences at over 4,000 facilities and 106,000 individual sites across the country. The Recreation.gov mobile app puts adventure at your fingertips. From booking a weekend getaway to planning a cross-country road trip, the Recreation.gov app helps you find and reserve campsites, review location details, and quickly access information on past and upcoming reservations.