Beach Access and Park Issues
November 11, 2011

Ocracoke park ranger Kenny Balance receives regional award

Long-time National Park Service Outer Banks Group employee Kenneth C. Ballance has received the 2011 NPS Southeast Region Harry Yount Park Ranger Award.  

The peer-nominated honor, named after the first known national park ranger, recognizes excellence in the field of “rangering.”

Every year each of the seven NPS regions selects a regional Harry Yount Award recipient whose “overall impact, record of accomplishments, and excellence in traditional ranger duties have created an appreciation for the park ranger profession on the part of the public and other members of the profession.”  

The intent of the Harry Yount Award is to honor rangers who have consistently gone out every day and performed the traditional, generalist ranger duties of protecting the resources and serving the visitors and who have done it well in the eyes of their peers over time.

“Kenny is an outstanding ranger and very deserving of this recognition,” said Outer Banks Group Superintendent Mike Murray. “We are very proud of his many accomplishments and fortunate to have him as an employee.  As a dedicated National Park Service employee, he has assisted an untold number of park visitors in his 35 years of service.  Park management and his coworkers would like to personally thank him and congratulate him on receiving this significant award.”

Kenny Ballance graduated in 1977 from East Carolina University and, as a life-long resident of Ocracoke Island, he attended grades K-12 at Ocracoke School.  Since 1978 Kenny has worked as a law enforcement ranger at the Outer Banks Group, where he has held a variety of assignments including serving as the group’s district ranger on Ocracoke Island since 2003.

His leadership and involvement in his community are well known and widespread.  Kenny was recognized as Outstanding Volunteer of the Year by the North Carolina Governor’s Office in 1996.  One of his favorite park endeavors, spanning three decades, has been the protection of the Ocracoke pony herd.  

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