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.