Dan Kunkle, director of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, attended the Dec. 1 meeting of the Allentown Hiking Club to present conservation awards to two members.

The awards are for outstanding support of the mission of the center and are chosen with no set basis for that choice by the Friends of Lehigh Gap - just a matter of considering someone worthy through their support.

Janet Goloub of Trichlers, a member of the hiking club, became interested in the work at the Gap and asked Kunkle to talk at the club meeting.

"That became a partnership. One-third of the people in this room have helped build trails (at the center) and the whole club deserves acclaim. But there are two in particular. Carl and Jim, will you please come up," said Kunkle.

Carl Griffin of Shoemakersville had been laid off until recently. Kunkle said it was to the benefit of the nature center because he spent more time there.

He and Jim Gabovitz, who lives in Northampton, laid out the trails, hosted probation groups who performed work, diverted a spring from the pond, helped choose and plan Eagle Scout projects and did countless other things in support of the LGNC's mission, said Kunkle.

After accepting their plaques Gabovitz said Kunkle does a great job and Griffin said it was a privilege to know him. They are both members of the two organizations.

The two also received gift cards from the Allentown Hiking Club for the number of volunteer hours worked during 2010. For Griffin it was 221 hours and for Gabovitz it was 150 hours.