American Park Experience Award


Washington, DC (APRIL 11 2016) – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today accepted the National Park Trust's (NPT) American Park Experience Award for her contributions to protect and expand American lands, her work to enhance the park experience, and her commitment to connect our nation's youth to the outdoors.

The American Park Experience Award honors an individual or group that has made extraordinary contributions to enhance the awareness and appreciation of our nation's parks and public lands and waters.  Bill Brownell, NPT Board Chair, and Grace Lee, NPT's executive director, presented the award along with a group of 4th graders who participate in the award winning Buddy Bison School program, NPT's national education initiative that works with 60 Title I schools across the country connecting kids to our national parks.

"Sally Jewell has been an extraordinary Secretary of the Interior.  She has worked to preserve more than 265 million acres of land and water – more than any other administration in history, including 2.9 million acres to our National Park System," said Bill Brownell, Board Chair, National Park Trust.

"This award represents the hard work of the women and men of the National Park Service and land management agencies across our Nation who inspire and encourage future generations to be strong stewards of parks and public lands," Secretary Jewell said. "Whether working behind a desk, reaching out to communities or patrolling backcountry wilderness, our committed public land managers play an important role in protecting and preserving America's natural, cultural, and historic treasures for future generations."

NPT also recognized the Secretary for her 2014 Secretarial Order that was designed to significantly expand recreational, educational, volunteer and career opportunities for millions of youth and veterans through her comprehensive strategy to incorporate these four pillars: play, learn, serve and work.

2016 APEX book CRP"You learn a sense of confidence that never leaves you when you have those experiences," said Secretary Jewell. "So thank you all for your work for the National Park Trust and your commitment to the Buddy Bison program, making sure that these young people are reflective of all the young people in the country through the work that they do."

In addition, she was recognized for her leadership role in promoting the President's Every Kid in a Park initiative and its ambitious goal of getting every 4th grader to parks by providing free park passes to our nation's public lands and waters.


The American Park Experience Award was established in 2009 to recognize an individual or group that has made outstanding contributions to enhance the awareness and appreciation of our nation's parks, wildlife refuges, and historic landmarks. Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan were the first co-recipients of this award.


National Park Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of our nation's critical parklands and reconnecting our youth – especially those that are underserved – to nature. NPT's mission is to provide important recreational and educational parkland opportunities for current and future generations. As people spend more time indoors and as successive generations grow up with less of a connection to nature, NPT wants to build a greater awareness and appreciation for the importance of our country's public lands and parks. To achieve this, NPT seeks to champion the acquisition and preservation of critical national, state and local parklands and to build a greater awareness through education – focusing on our youth.


Past Recipients

2015: Dan Beiderman and Biederman Redevelopment Ventures

2010: Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

2009: Director Ken Burns



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