Former Park Service Superintendent Receives Major Award


Acting High Plains Group Superintendent Janet Frederick presents Dr. Alexa Roberts with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Meritorious Service Award on November 15, 2018. The award is the second highest honorary recognition granted to Department employees.


Former National Park Service High Plains Group Superintendent Alexa Roberts has received the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Meritorious Service Award. The Meritorious Service Award is the second highest honorary recognition granted to employees of the Department of the Interior. It is presented for an important contribution to science or management, a notable career, superior service in administration or in the execution of duties, or initiative in devising new and improved work methods and procedures.

Roberts, who retired from the National Park Service on October 31 after over 20 years of service, was presented with the award by Acting Superintendent Janet Frederick during Dr. Robert’s retirement party on November 15. Frederick presented Roberts with a special certificate and citation signed by the Director of the National Park Service. The National Park Service is one of nine bureaus in the U.S. Department of the Interior, a Cabinet-level agency that manages America’s vast natural and cultural resources.

The citation reads in part, “For nearly 3 decades, Dr. Alexa Roberts has been a leader of historic preservation, community partnerships, and tribal relationships in Northern New Mexico and Southeastern Colorado.

For 10 years as the group Superintendent of the High Plains Group Parks including Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site, Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, and Capulin Volcano National Monument, she has knitted three disparate parks together, enhancing the standards of resource protection and visitor experience at the sites through creatively sharing services and staff, serving as a model for other grouped parks within the region and the National Park Service.

For two decades, Dr. Roberts has been the guiding energy behind Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, an NPS site managed in partnership with tribes and one of the more emotionally-charged and controversial events in U.S. history… As the site’s first Superintendent she turned the idea of the site into reality including developing facilities, interpretive media, and completing and initiating implementation of the General Management Plan, working hand in hand with local partners and tribal nations along the way… Dr. Roberts led the way in establishing deeply respectful, personal, and collaborative relationships with the tribal nations associated with Sand Creek that are paramount to the site’s success. Dr. Roberts spearheaded a partnership between the National Park Service, Kiowa County, State of Colorado, and private donors to preserve and adaptively reuse a historic structure in downtown Eads, Colorado to serve as the headquarters of the site and also support revitalization of this rural community.

Dr. Roberts has worked to enhance the relevancy of Bent’s Old Fort, establishing interpretive trails, an orientation plaza, and, in 2015, hosting over 300 attendees from around the world for a week-long national Fur Trade Symposium… Dr. Roberts was a co-recipient of the 2017 Governor’s Award (Colorado) for her leadership in a unique private-public collaboration resulting in the nomination of privately-owned Bent’s New Fort to the National Register of Historic Places. Dr. Roberts assisted Kiowa and Otero Counties in receiving certified local government status, allowing them to access state and federal funding for community historic preservation efforts. She assisted numerous local and state-wide preservation efforts including the Camp Amache Preservation Society as they began to increasingly engage with survivors and descendants of this Japanese Internment Camp site, and the stewards of Boggsville Historic Site as they brainstorm new visitor and management options. Through her many accomplishments in support of the programs and mission of the National Park Service both inside and outside park boundaries, Dr. Alexa Roberts is granted the Meritorious Service Award of the Department of the Interior.”




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