Margarita Caicedo wins 2024 Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation award

The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF) held its 15th Annual Awards Banquet and celebrated 13 award recipients for their outstanding stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state park and state forest system. The event was held at Little Buffalo State Park in Newport, PA on May 14, 2024. The winner of the 2024 Volunteer Award (Individual), sponsored by the Organic Snack Company / Kate’s Real Food, is Margarita Caicedo.

The annual event brought together individuals, businesses, and organizations from across the state, including Cindy Adams Dunn, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

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“There are thousands of people who help make Pennsylvania state parks and forests wonderful places to visit and I am always excited to celebrate their work,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “Thank you to the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation for being a great partner and prioritizing these awards to help honor the exemplary people whose work supports public lands.”

PPFF’s first Latina ambassador, Margarita, a resident of Reading, has worked tirelessly to connect the Spanish-speaking community to Pennsylvania’s public lands. She volunteers monthly on Spanish language radio programs focused on the outdoors, speaks through webinars and media appearances about the connections between the outdoors and health, and frequently attends outdoor events to share her personal story. Margarita forges connections through her experiences and vibrant personality.

Additionally, Margarita has appeared in two PPFF videos, discussing the health benefits of spending time outdoors and promoting Leave No Trace principles as a trained presenter. Her passion for outdoor recreation is contagious.

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“The annual banquet provides not only an opportunity to celebrate Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests, but organizations, individuals and businesses that are committed to conservation and recreational opportunities,” said Marci Mowery, President of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. “We applaud their hard work and dedication to creating a Pennsylvania that is a better place to live, work and play.”

“Additionally, I would like to thank the sponsors that made the banquet possible. Their support makes the annual celebration a reality. Visit the Foundation’s website at to see the banquet program and full list of sponsors.”

The event also held a silent auction where the proceeds will go towards funding accessible equipment and opportunities in PA state parks and forests to help ensure outdoor access for everyone.

Other 2024 PPFF Award Winners:

Cliff Jones Keystone Legacy Award: Pennsylvania Forestry Association. Joseph E. Ibberson Government Award: Wayne Kober. President’s Award: Purple Lizard Maps. Chair’s Award: Barbara Barksdale. Forest of the Year Award: William Penn State Forest. Park of the Year Award: Neshaminy State Park. Volunteerism Award (Individual): Margarita Caicedo. Volunteerism Award (Group): Lackawanna Trail Care Crew. Education Award (Individual): Mike Teeter. Education Award (Group): French and Indian War Officer’s Corps Improvement Award (Individual): Gary Kirk. Improvement Award (Group): Friends of Michaux

Young Volunteer Award: Hung Pham an about the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. Founded in 1999, the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation supports 124 state parks and 2.2 million acres of forest by coordinating volunteers, activities, and donations through its 40+ chapters. The foundation’s mission is to inspire stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests through public engagement in volunteerism, recreation, and conservation. To learn more about PPFF visit,

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