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EPA Administrator Recognizes Upstate New York Leader For Dedication to Volunteer Service

Release Date: 06/14/2007
Contact Information: Jennifer May (646) 369-0039,

(New York, N.Y.) EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson honored Robert Ripberger today with the President’s Volunteer Service Award in Syracuse, New York. The 89-year-old resident of Syracuse has given more than 50 years of volunteer service to help improve Oneida Lake, the health of fish and wildlife, and protect the wetlands.

An avid hunter and fisherman, Ripberger has worked tirelessly to educate hunters and fishermen by teaching a course at Elmwood Fish and Game Club and providing conservation education and recreational information to the 40 clubs, (4,000 sportsmen) who belong to the Onondaga County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs.

“Today we honor Robert Ripberger for answering President Bush's call to serve a cause greater than himself,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “Dedicated volunteers like Bob are inspiring others to join them in delivering America a brighter, healthier future."

During his travels across the country, Administrator Johnson meets with individuals like Ripberger who are answering the call to volunteer service, environmental education and pollution prevention.

Ripberger has been an officer of the New York State Conservation Fund Advisory Board, the Onondaga County Federation of Sportsmen’s Club, the New York State Conservation Council and the Oneida Lake Association. He was a member of the Board of Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCCRA) for 10 years where he volunteered many hours to help with recycling, trash disposal, and waste-to-energy. As a 50-year member of the Onondaga County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, he did fundraising for land conservation, supported scholarships to students interested in the environmental conservation and wildlife, and did outreach at local and state fairs. He was a treasurer for six years of the New York State Conservation Council which protects and restores forests, wildlife and scenic recreational areas.

In his January 2002 State of the Union Address, President Bush called on all Americans to make a difference in their communities through volunteer service. He created USA Freedom Corps, an Office of the White House, to strengthen and expand volunteer service. Americans are responding to the President’s Call to Service. Go to or call 1-877-USA-CORPS to find an existing volunteer service opportunity in your area or to find more information about service programs, including national service programs such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Citizen Corps. USA Freedom Corps is also highlighting youth volunteer service. Visit for games and ideas to see how America's youth are making a difference.

The President's Volunteer Service Award was created at the President’s direction by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The Award is available to youth ages 14 and under who have completed 50 or more hours of volunteer service; to individuals 15 and older who have completed 100 or more hours; and to families or groups who have completed 200 or more hours. For more information about the Award, please visit