Michael Riska Wins National Award at National Wildlife Federation’s Annual Meeting
National Wildlife Federation (NWF) honors local educator for his dedication to outdoor and conservation education
Michael Riska of Hockessin, Delaware was awarded the prestigious Special Achievement Award at National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) 78th Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 3, 2014, in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Special Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have achieved a single, exemplary conservation accomplishment or have exhibited sustained conservation commitment.
"Michael Riska has inspired hundreds of children to grow up with an appreciation of nature, and he is truly making a difference for conservation," said Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation.
Riska is honored by NWF for his 28 years of serving as Executive Director of the Delaware Nature Society (DNS), NWF’s Delaware affiliate. Riska is known across the nation for his passion of the outdoors, leading his famous "Hikes with Mike," training new staff, and mentoring teen volunteers.
Only the third executive director at DNS, Riska solidified its reputation as an outstanding environmental education, conservation and advocacy organization, not only in Delaware, but nationally, earning him recognition by the Association of Nature Center Administrators.
After retiring in 2011, Riska went on to serve as the Honorary Co-Chair of the Delaware Children in Nature Task Force with Delaware’s First Lady Carla Markell. Under Riska’s leadership with the First Lady, the organization produced an environmental literacy plan for the state, making specific recommendations related to education, health, community and outdoor connections; and resulted in an Outdoor Bill of Rights for Delaware’s Children. Riska is now working on implementation of this landmark plan.
"My greatest career satisfaction has been going from teacher reaching thousands, to administrator taking pride in the accomplishments of my staff team reaching more than a million children, adults and families on all aspects of the environment," said Riska.
National Wildlife Federation’s Annual Meeting recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions to the organization’s conservation efforts and works to create solutions to protect America’s water, air, and wildlife habitat for future generations.