VICTORIA ATKINS received the Eric Finstick Stewardship Award. Connie Clementson (Tres Rios Field Manager), Lori Armstrong (SW District Manager), Victoria Atkins (Finstick Award Winner), Marietta Eaton (Anasazi Heritage Center & Canyons of the Ancients National Monument Manager)
The Bureau of Land Management's Colorado State Director Helen Hankins has presented Victoria Atkins, lead interpretive specialist at the Anasazi Heritage Center, with the annual Eric Finstick Stewardship Award.
The award recognizes the contribution of BLM employees in managing BLM's special places, through remembrance of long-time BLM Colorado Wilderness Coordinator Eric Finstick.
"Eric was an exemplary steward of public lands and was dedicated to preserving wilderness and the public's special places," said Hankins.
Atkins earned the award for her service as a BLM archaeologist, interpretive lead and acting center director over the course of her 34-year career, 26 at the Heritage Center. One of her priorities is fostering partnerships and volunteer opportunities with diverse communities to promote stewardship of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. The BLM's dedicated volunteers are directly responsible for assisting the waves of visitors at the Anasazi Heritage Center
"Victoria is the essence of the success that we have in education and interpretation in the four corners and the BLM, because of her great efforts and achievements working with people and communities," said Hankins.
As an interpretive specialist, Atkins uses her talents to ensure the Anasazi Heritage Center's exhibits are fresh and engaging for educators, docents and visitors. She also works to provide schools with lessons aligned with the State of Colorado's Education Standards and Benchmarks to foster an appreciation for museums.
Over the last few years, Atkins was the agency lead in a heritage tourism project with the National Geographic-branded "Four Corners Geotourism MapGuide." The resulting map elevated Canyons of the Ancients' status to an internationally-recognized sustainable tourism destination.
Atkins is also a graduate of the BLM's 2011 Leadership Academy, where she completed a supervisory detail, extensive course work and a national level project.