‘Dear Naturalist’ nabs NCPA award

Article Published: Mar. 28, 2013 | Modified: Mar. 28, 2013
‘Dear Naturalist’ nabs NCPA award

‘Dear Naturalist’ columnist Amy Renfranz displays her NCPA award at a ceremony March 21 in Chapel Hill.
Photo courtesy of the NCPA

Some newspaper columnists write for years before being acknowledged for their work. Some get noticed right away.

Amy Renfranz’s weekly column in The Mountain Times, “Dear Naturalist,” is one of those that got noticed from the get-go. And that attention was not just from her readers.

Last week, “Dear Naturalist” won the third-place prize in the 2012 N.C. Press Association Editorial and Journalism Contest’s Lighter Columns category for community newspapers with a weekly circulation rate of more than 10,000.

The three “Dear Naturalist” columns that were submitted for the contest were “Naturalist Technology,” “Confessions of a Naturalist” and “The Ranger’s Stethoscope.”

Renfranz attended the annual awards ceremony in Chapel Hill Thursday, March 21.

In awarding the prize to Renfranz, the NCPA judges noted that “Dear Naturalist” is a “super column by a writer that transcribes her great personality and knowledge for the enjoyment and opens doors into nature for the readers. A massive asset to the newspaper and the National Park Service. A true professional in her niche in life.”

This year, newspaper professionals from New York and Michigan served as judges for the NCPA awards.

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