County Board To Honor Outstanding Park Volunteers

Published on April 24, 2017

  • Long-time resident Paul Holland advocates for parkland

  • Dynamic volunteer Yu-hsin Hsu adopts Central Library pollinator garden 

Paul Holland and Yu-hsin Hsu will be recognized by the Arlington County Board on Tuesday, April 25 as the 2016 recipients of the Bill Thomas Outstanding Park Service Volunteer Award. The Board will honor the pair at its April Recessed County Board Meeting.

[caption id="attachment_11925" align="alignright" width="150"]Paul Holland Bill Thomas Award Winner Paul Holland[/caption]

"Paul and Yu-hsin represent the best of Arlington's many strong park volunteers. Holland is a leading voice for park and recreation spaces in Arlington — for places where our residents can enjoy the natural beauty the County has to offer," Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette said. "And the maintenance and restoration of our natural landscape could simply not happen without the support of people like Yu-hsin Hsu, who lovingly donates her time for the good of our green spaces and wildlife."

The Board will honor the two recipients during the evening session of the Tuesday, April 25 Recessed County Board Meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend. The meeting also will stream live on the County website, and will be broadcast live on ATV, the County's cable channel, on Comcast 25 & 74 and Verizon FiOS 39 & 40.

About Paul Holland

Paul Holland has served for nearly a decade on the County's Park and Recreation Commission, and donated more than 500 volunteer hours to our County parks. Throughout the years, Paul has served Arlington in many capacities. He is a former chairman of the Park and Recreation Commission, is vice president of the Arlington Boathouse Foundation, serves on the Board of Directors of the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing and is currently the president of the Waverly Hills Civic Association.

As a member of the Park and Recreation Commission, Paul devoted his efforts to promoting and expanding our urban parks and advocating for land acquisition and strategic planning. He served as co-chairman of the Mosaic Park Planning Task Force, as the Park and Recreation Commission's representative to the Realize Rosslyn planning effort and as a member of the Western Rosslyn Area Planning Study.

About Yu-hsin Hsu

An ardent supporter of Arlington's natural resources, Yu-hsin Hsu has volunteered with Long Branch Nature Center, the Arlington Central Library pollinator garden, the Natural Resources Management Unit and Arlington Regional Master Naturalists.

[caption id="attachment_11926" align="alignright" width="150"]Yu-Hsin-Hsu Bill Thomas winner Yu-Hsin-Hsu[/caption]

At Long Branch Nature Center, Yu-hsin has been invaluable as a Saturday animal care volunteer since fall 2013, logging about 160 hours and freeing up weekend staff to attend to visitor contact and other activities as well as directing other animal care volunteers in their tasks. In addition to animal care, Yu-hsin helps with invasive exotic plant removals and preparing for twice-yearly native plant sales at the center.

Yu-hsin has been a volunteer with the Arlington Central Library garden project since early spring 2016. At that time, she happened to pass by the Library's native pollinator garden, where she saw a staff member weeding. Yu-hsin offered to help — she has not stopped helping since.

Margaret Brown, Central Services Division Chief at the Library says of Yu-hsin: "She brings to the garden a spunky energy and perseverance, as well as a similar passion for educating others about the critical importance of pollinators and native plants. She is tireless in her efforts and selfless in her generosity."

The final piece of Yu-hsin volunteering trifecta is her work with the Department of Parks and Recreation's Natural Resources Management Unit, educating and involving children in the Remove Invasive Plants (RiP) program, volunteering at the native plant nursery, and with habitat restoration projects. She has also helped inventory County plants and animals through the annual National Geographic Bioblitz, and engages in other conservation and outreach activities through the Master Naturalist Program.

About the Bill Thomas Award

The Bill Thomas Outstanding Park Service Volunteer Award was established to pay tribute to lifelong parks volunteer Bill Thomas, and to honor and encourage those residents who demonstrate a passionate dedication and support for our dynamic programs, natural resources and public open spaces.