By DAVID SCHOLZ
MARTINEZ, Calif. – The backbone of the National Park Service and its properties like the John Muir National Historic Site, is its volunteers.
The Earth Day festivities on Saturday, April 23, honored Concord resident Sandra Candanosa with the George and Helen Hartzog Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service for her tireless efforts through the years, that have included organizing the Christmastime posada at the Martinez Adobe on the grounds of the Muir site.
Las Posadas takes place all over the Americas. They are musical processions, like a moving nativity scene, that celebrate centuries-old Catholic traditions.
“When Sandra organizes a posadas here, she is connecting the resources of the park with her own culture, and sharing her traditions with our community,” NPS Superintendent Tom Leatherman said.
“On the day of the Las Posadas, she welcomes dozens of families from the community – of all faiths and backgrounds – to a fun, bilingual program about music, tradition, and family,” he said.
Candanosa played down the contribution she has made.
“I have angels behind me here,” she said, acknowledging the many National Park Service rangers who have assisted her through the years.
In addition to the Martinez Adobe at the Muir site, the program has been a fixture at the NPS’s Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
The National Park Service created the Hartzog Award to honor volunteers’ hard work, draw attention to their vast contributions, and to stimulate innovative projects.