Recently, Cedar Ridge Academy Therapeutic Boarding School and science teacher, Chad Hamblin, were honored by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as "Outstanding Youth Partners."
"For the past seven years, Cedar Ridge Academy has partnered with the BLM on projects to provide exceptional opportunities for Uintah Basin youth and families to 'Get Outside.' They have helped construct and maintain valuable trail systems in the Vernal urban interface, creating opportunities for thousands of recreation visits to public lands every year. One project in particular was marking and maintaining the Moonshine trail, a beautiful high desert six-mile trail starting from the Taylor Mountain Road and traversing slick rock with incredible vistas of desert reds, white sands, slick rock and views of Ashley Valley." (BLM News Release, Sept. 2012)
Chad accepted the Youth Program Partnership Award from the Utah State BLM Director on behalf of Cedar Ridge Academy in a ceremony held at Snow College in Richfield, Utah. Consisting of a plaque sporting a large gold-colored star, the award now hangs in Chad's science classroom as a reminder of the hours of service students have provided to the BLM and community under his guidance.
Earlier in 2012, Chad received additional recognition when he was presented with the Alumni Achievement award from Utah State University.
"Science teacher, artist, and community activist Chad Hamblin was a biology major who graduated from USU's secondary education program in 2003. For the last eight years, Chad has taught science at Cedar Ridge Academy, a local residential school for at-risk youth. He started a Lifetime Hobbies Club at Cedar Ridge in order to introduce students to activities like cross country skiing, blacksmithing, and wilderness skills. Chad also provides service learning opportunities for his students throughout the Uintah Basin. Because of his efforts, previously hard-to-find non-motorized trails on federal lands such as the BLM's Red Mountain to Moonshine Arch Trail have become safe and well-marked routes in a time of shrinking recreational budgets. For encouraging adolescents to appreciate and enjoy our natural resources, Chad has been selected to receive the Alumni Achievement Award." (Utah State University, Commencement, 2012)