NPT News August 2011

August 2011 ISSUE
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NPT News

Mission: The National Park Trust's mission is to champion the preservation of America's critical
parklands through land acquisition, education and partnerships.

Caesars Expands Education Grant for Buddy Bison Schools

Students from Bennett Elementary School in Nevada take a break at the top of Kelso Dunes at Mojave National Preserve

Caesars Entertainment and Caesars Foundation have generously provided funding to engage five new Buddy Bison Partner Schools  in New Orleans, LA; Biloxi, MS; Valley Forge, PA; Council Bluffs, IA and Kansas City, MO this fall. This funding represents a significant expansion of their commitment to NPT's educational program.  "We are privileged to provide students across the country with opportunities to learn about and connect with nature through the Buddy Bison program," said Thom Reilly, Executive Director of the Caesars Foundation. "These outdoor classrooms are an important part of safeguarding our environment for future generations."

In 2010-2011, Caesars provided critical resources to support underserved schools in Nevada and California. These students experienced the marvels of  Lake Tahoe, Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam, and the Mojave Desert. They gained valuable information on environmental stewardship while learning about a variety of ecosystems. In addition, each classroom receives a Buddy Bison toolkit filled with resources teachers may use to incorporate environmental education into lesson plans throughout the year. 

Supporting the Buddy Bison program is one facet of Caesars' HERO Program in which employee volunteers support their community. "We are very grateful to Caesars and their employees for providing this opportunity for hundreds of elementary school students across the country who otherwise would never be able to enjoy our magnificent parks and the outdoors," said Grace Lee, NPT Executive Director.

Thank you Caesars Entertainment and Caesars Foundation!

Tony Award-Winning Park Advocate Richard Adler Feted

Grace Lee (left) with Susan A. Ivory and Richard Adler.

NPT staff attended a reception at the Meadows Club in Southampton, NY on July 31st to celebrate the 90th birthday of Richard Adler, a longtime supporter of National Park Trust, Tony award-winning Broadway composer and recipient of the coveted National Park Service Honorary Park Ranger Award.

The party also celebrated Adler’s lifelong commitment to our nation’s parks. In the early 1980’s, Adler was commissioned by the U.S. Department of the Interior to create a musical score inspired by his trips to our national parks. The result was the “Wilderness Suite,” which premiered in Europe and around the country in 1983. In addition the Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation commissioned Adler to compose a tribute in honor of the centennial celebration of the Statue of Liberty which was titled  “The Lady Remembers”.  "These Pulitzer Prize-nominated works are wonderful tributes to our nation's iconic parks and historic landmarks and will be enjoyed for generations," said Grace Lee, NPT Executive Director.

At the reception, NPT announced the creation of the Richard Adler Fund that will be used to encourage students to create music, art, dance, and poetry inspired by our nation's treasured parks. NPT presented letters of congratulations and appreciation from Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar and NPT Board Chair, Bill Brownell to Adler.

Susan A. Ivory, Adler’s wife said, "National Park Trust's mission is one that my husband, Richard, and I hold dear to our hearts, and we were honored to announce NPT's establishment of the Richard Adler Fund at his 90th birthday party. Through the Fund, generations of children will now be able to experience the same joy and wonder Richard and I feel when exploring our country's parklands."

If you are interested in learning more or supporting the Richard Adler Fund, please contact Shana Newman Fajardo at 301-279-7275 x15.

National Park Service Call to Action
The National Park Service (NPS) unveiled A Call to Action last week identifying four key themes and 36 actions to ready the agency for its 100th anniversary in 2016. The plan commits the agency to connecting people to parks, strengthening local economies and encouraging organizational innovation within NPS. The release came on Founder's Day – August 25 – on the 95th anniversary of the creation of the agency.

The four key themes of A Call to Action are: (1) "Connecting People to Parks"; (2) "Advancing the Education Mission"; (3) "Preserving America's Special Places"; and (4) "Enhancing Professional and Organizational Excellence." NPS Director Jon Jarvis outlined the plan and a new emphasis on communications internally at a national town hall meeting held in the historic Ford's Theater in downtown Washington, D.C.

The Director emphasized that A Call to Action does not depend upon new funding or new authorities. Instead, he told the group, the plan is based on flexibility, creativity and partnerships.

On January 24-26, the first-ever America's Summit on National Parks will be held with more than 300 NPS officials and partners participating to coordinate efforts linked to the 2016 centennial of the agency. For more information on A Call to Action and the upcoming Summit, visit www.nps.gov/calltoaction.


Mark Your Calendars for Explore Your Parks Events
NPT is pleased to partner with The North Face (TNF) to promote the second year of their Explore Your Parks program. NPT and over 100 Buddy Bison students joined the kickoff EYP event at Mason Neck State Park in Virginia last May.  

American Hiking Society, Leave No Trace and state parks are partnering to promote some great events to highlight the importance of being active and getting outdoors to explore our state parks. There will be guided hikes, activities, snacks, free park passes and more!

UPCOMING EVENTS
October 1: Fort Snelling State Park, 9:00 AM – Noon, St. Paul, Minnesota

October 8: Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM Yorktown Heights, New York

Both events are open to the general public. For more information contact, Chasidy Atchison, 626.229.9991 x15.



Wolf Trap Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Congratulations to Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, the only national park dedicated to presenting the performing arts. Located in Vienna, VA, this venue offers musicals, dance, opera, jazz, popular and country music from May through September each year. Wolf Trap has been a valued NPT partner and is responsible for securing many of our celebrity Buddy Bison Ambassadors including: Chris Botti, B.B. King, the Beach Boys, Chris Isaak, and Bella Fleck.


Volunteer at a Park on National Public Lands Day
Join the National Environmental Education Foundation, (NEEF) for National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on Saturday, September 24th. This event is the nation's largest, single day volunteer effort for public lands. You and your family can volunteer to help preserve our nation’s parks. NPLD began in 1994 with three sites and 700 volunteers. Last year, 170,000 volunteers worked at over 2,080 sites in every state, the District of Columbia and in many U.S. territories.  NPT encourages our supporters to participate in this important annual event to help preserve America’s parks. NPLD volunteers have:

• Removed an estimated 450 tons of trash
• Collected an estimated 20,000 pounds of invasive plants
• Built and maintained an estimated 1,320 miles of trails
• Planted an estimated 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants
• Contributed an estimated $15 million to improve public lands across the country

 

The Corps Network Publishes Report on Green Job Pathways
The Corps Network has released a publication that illustrates how to prepare young people for jobs and careers in a growing green economy titled,  A Green Career Pathways Framework: Postsecondary and Employment Success for Low-Income, Disconnected Youth.

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation this paper explores the extent to which this emerging green economy can offer a pathway out of poverty for low-income young people, many of whom have disengaged from school and are struggling to find a way into the economic mainstream. These disconnected youth, some six million strong, represent an untapped resource.

"This document will be helpful in cultivating the next generation of park stewards and conservationists which is an important part of NPT's mission and our new strategic plan," said Ray Sherbill, NPT board member.

Last year, the Maryland Conservation Corps and California Conservation Corps worked closely with our Buddy Bison students in Maryland and California to complete trail clean-up and restoration projects.

 

Majority of Americans Support Land and Water Conservation Funding
A new bipartisan poll released by the LWCF Coalition shows that an overwhelming 85% of Americans support full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Since 1965, the LWCF has served as the nation’s primary tool to conserve land for parks, wildlife refuges, forests, rivers, trails, historic and cultural sites and other important federal, state and local public lands. By similar margins, the poll finds that a vast majority of Americans want Congress to honor its commitment to dedicate LWCF funds to these purposes rather than diverting them for unrelated uses.

 

Four New National Historic Landmarks Designated
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the designation of four new National Historic Landmarks in four states, including a pre-Columbian flint quarry in North Dakota, a colonial-era Pennsylvania German house, and a 20th century Oregon house of the Northwest Style. “Each of these landmarks teaches us about the history of our land, our people, and our nation, from archeological sites dating back more than two millennia to a mid-twentieth century building,” Secretary Salazar said. “In designating these sites as National Historic Landmarks, we complement President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to reconnect people, especially young people, to our nation’s historic, cultural, and natural heritage.”

The new sites include:

• Lynch Quarry, Dunn Center, ND
• Aubrey Watcek House, Portland, OR
• Schaeffer House, Schafferstown, PA
• Platt National Historic Park, Sulphur, OR

 

Push Underway for National Park Service Site in Delaware
Delaware is the only state without a National Park. For the past decade, Delaware leaders have been working to remedy that. Six landmarks that tell the story of Dutch and Swedish settlers in the 1600’s and the state’s role as the first to ratify the Constitution in 1787 have been proposed. House and Senate committees are reviewing bills to create the First State National Historic Park.

 

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National Park Trust  /  401 E. Jefferson Street, Suite 102  /  Rockville, MD 20850  /  Email: info@parktrust.org  /  www.parktrust.org