Landscape Stewardship Certificates of Appreciation - 2014

Attendees at award ceremony include: Sarah Greer (right side of award) President of the Docent Organization, and Marylou Shirar (left side of award) Founder and first president of the organization, Bruce Dawson (beige shirt with BLM logo) BLM Field Mgr, Jackson, MS, Elena Fink (white shirt, far left) Deputy State Director, BLM Eastern States Office, and Linda Lance, BLM Deputy State Director for Policy (light blue shirt behind lady in dark blue shirt on right side of Dawson. The Certificate of Appreciation and Citation was presented by Linda Lance to Sarah Greer who accepted it on behalf of the Docent Organization.

The Public Lands Foundation presents the Loxahatchee River Historical Society Docent Organization with a 2014 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation.  The Foundation grants this recognition to honor private citizens and organizations that work to advance and sustain community-based stewardship on landscapes that include, in whole or in part, public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

A small group of dedicated volunteer docents with the Loxahatchee River Historical Society created a small Lighthouse Museum in 1973, and worked to obtain a listing for the Jupiter Light on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1994, the Society signed a 30-year lease with the U.S. Coast Guard to restore, maintain and operate the lighthouse for public tours.  Volunteers also assisted with the management of the complete restoration of the lighthouse in 1999-2000.

In 2001, the docents formed the Loxahatchee River Historical Society Docent Organization (known as DOOR), elected executive leaders and organized regular meetings, newsletters and field trips to other lighthouses. The DOOR took a leadership role in acting as ambassadors to the community on behalf of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, the Historical Society and surrounding historic sites.

When the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum was created in 2006, docent responsibilities and numbers grew.  In 2008, with community support, the “Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area” was designated by the U.S. Congress, preserving the entire 120-acre site in perpetuity for future generations.  DOOR was a major contributing force for community support of this important historic national legislation.

Now in 2014 there are over 120 trained DOOR members providing some 3,500 guided tours annually. Each year docents donate over 12,000 hours at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum as tour guides for school groups and 70,000 visitors from all over the world.

The Historical Society has increased the Outstanding Natural Area’s visibility and the understanding of the BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System mission through public outreach and marketing efforts through participation in key organizations on the local, state and national level.  All of this has increased the visibility of the BLM in a positive light in a part of the country that is largely unfamiliar with BLM.

Working together, the BLM and DOOR have enhanced the public’s awareness of public lands cultural and natural resources and increased the public’s understanding of how these resources relate to their lives. The benefit to the local community and to all citizens is immense.

The Public Lands Foundation is pleased to present the Loxahatchee River Historical Society Docent Organization with its 2014 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation for invaluable contributions to the stewardship of America’s public landscapes.

Edward Shepard
September 27, 2014