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‘Ding’ Darling ranger receives 20-year award

By Staff | Jun 29, 2018

PHOTO PROVIDED Supervisory Refuge Ranger Toni Westland receives her 20-year government service award from J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Manager Paul Tritaik.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Manager Paul Tritaik presented Toni Westland, supervisory refuge ranger, with her 20-year award for service to the U.S. government on June 19.

Westland joined the staff in 2002 as an environmental education specialist. She transferred from a position as an environmental educator for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Lake Okeechobee Waterway, where she began in 1998 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a major in natural resource management and an emphasis on environmental education.

In 2009, the “Ding” Darling administration promoted Westland to her current position. She remains intrinsically involved in environmental education through her work overseeing visitor services.

Westland has received many awards along the way, including a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Regional Director’s Award for her curriculum design and proactive approach to resolving student transportation problems to the refuge. With the help of “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge and contributions, she arranges private busing for thousands of students each year in the ongoing private-public partnership program. Earlier this year, Westland accepted the Florida chapter of The Wildlife Society’s 2018 Outstanding Educator Award.

“Toni has demonstrated exemplary service to her country in the past 20 years,” Tritaik said. “Her contributions to ‘Ding’ Darling have been immeasurable. It has been an honor to serve with her and present her this milestone award.”