Home Chapman recognized for storytelling legacy with The Golden Pinecone award

Chapman recognized for storytelling legacy with The Golden Pinecone award

Crystal Graham
golden pinecone USDA stephanie chapman
Stephanie Chapman, submitted

A former interpretive specialist on the Lee Ranger District of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest was presented The Golden Pinecone award.

Stephanie Chapman, of Woodstock, served in an interpretive role for 32 years, through January 2024.

Chapman was well known in the community for her work in northwestern Virginia and on unique projects throughout the country. Although Chapman left the interpretive community in January and transitioned to a new role as grants management specialist for the eastern region of the USDA Forest Service, her storytelling legacy remains in northwestern Virginia.

The Golden Pinecone is a distinguished national award recognizing innovative public engagement that advances the mission of the Forest Service.

The Golden Pinecone award highlighted Chapman’s work on national fire prevention teams in Louisiana, Utah, New Mexico, California and Virginia.

As an example of impactful public education, her team successfully engaged 50,000 local citizens in a conversation about safety and fire prevention on the Kisatchie National Forest.

“Stephanie’s work in conservation education set a high standard in the South. She is a talented storyteller whose interpretation of the great outdoors is preserved on signs and exhibits,” said Michelle Mitchell, the southern region’s director of recreation, wilderness, heritage and volunteers. “Visitors can read about wildlife, nature’s beauty, forest history and interesting conservation stories when they visit our national forests, thanks to Stephanie.”

Mitchell said thousands of visitors see Chapman’s exhibits every year and learn about the history of Camp Roosevelt. They also hike along interpretive trails – like Pig Iron and Charcoal Trail, Lions Tail Accessible Trail and Massanutten Storybook Trail – where interpretive signs unveil secrets about the forest.

Chapman is also known for her educational programs at county fairs and her work with the community watershed group Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.