NPT News - February 2013

February 2013 ISSUE

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NPT News
Our mission: Preserving parks today; Creating park stewards for tomorrow.
In this month's issue:

Sally Jewell Nominated as Secretary of the Interior

Sally Jewell, a long-time resident of the Seattle area, was nominated by President Barack Obama on February 6, 2013, to be the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate Jewell would replace Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Jewell holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering degree from the University of Washington, graduating in 1978. She has worked as an oil engineer and a commercial banker.

Most recently Jewell served since 2005 as the chief executive of Sumner, Washington-based Recreational Equipment Inc. or REI, a popular retailer of outdoor gear. During her time at REI, the company donated millions of dollars to protect trails and public parks. REI stores get a fifth of their power from renewable energy sources.

Jewell is described as an outdoors enthusiast and strong advocate for protecting the nation's resources who is an expert on energy and climate change. She has also served on the board of the National Parks Conservation Association since 2004.

"She knows the link between conservation and good jobs," Obama said in announcing Jewell's nomination. "She knows that there’s no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and our economic progress; that in fact, those two things need to go hand in hand. She has shown that a company with more than $1 billion in sales can do the right thing for our planet."

"National Park Trust is thrilled with the announcement of the nomination by President Obama of Ms. Sally Jewell as the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Ms. Jewell brings to this very important Cabinet position a strong business background as well as a deep conviction in the preservation of our nation's parks. She understands the importance of helping our youth to appreciate and benefit from park experiences. NPT is looking forward to continuing to work with the Department and Ms. Jewell to assist and support our youth to become park stewards for the future.", stated NPT board member Lee Verstandig.

National Kids to Parks Day School Contest Entries Due: March 1

NPT's National Kids to Parks Day school contest will officially close next week! Applications must be postmarked by Friday, March 1st. Last year 32 scholarships were awarded. There's still time to enter -- visit our school contest page to learn more.

In addition, to date 121 mayors across the country have declared May 18 as National Kids to Parks Day in their community. More than 5,000 people have already pledged to get outside, explore and celebrate the day! Our website ( has great FREE educational resources for parents, caregivers and teachers!

School Contest

Pinnacles National Monument Becomes 59th Full National Park

President Barack Obama on Thursday, January 10th, 2013, signed HR3641, legislation upgrading Pinnacles National Monument near Hollister, California to full national park status.

The new Pinnacles National Park becomes the 59th full national park in the United States, joining Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, the Everglades and the other most storied parts of America's national heritage that are managed as part of the 398 units of the National Park System.

The park, a 26,000-acre expanse featuring rocky spires, caves and California condors was first set aside as a monument in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt.It now joins California’s eight other national parks -- Yosem
ite, the Channel Islands, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Lassen, Redwood, Sequoia and Kings Canyon.

In 2011, NPT played a key role in acquiring an 1880's one-room school house known as the Bear Valley School at Pinnacles National Monument. NPS will stabilize, restore and interpret this historic building for park visitors.

The park is also a sanctuary for the California condor and native wildlife, its red crags, caves, impressive displays of spring wildflowers, and opportunities for star-viewing under its noteworthy dark skies make Pinnacles a special place and worthy of its national park status.

Three D.C.-Area Schools Join Buddy Bison Program this Spring

We are excited to introduce our three new Buddy Bison Schools who will join our 41 other schools across the country. Each classroom participating in the Buddy Bison program received a toolkit full of resoures including books, DVDs, maps and much more! We have some exciting park trips planned for the students and look forward to working with their teachers and students.

Washington Middle School for Girls - Washington, D.C.
This all-girls middle school in southeast Washington, D.C. will be using the program to enhance their science curriculum in grades 4 through 8. We thank Paladin Capital Group for their generous support for this school.

"...our partnership with the NPT will stimulate curiosity in the beauty and fragility of our local natural environment and encourage students to spend more time outside, where they can experience all that our parks have to offer," stated Michael Kelley, 6th-8th grade science teacher.
Lynbrook Elementary School - Springfield, VA
The eighty fourth-grade students from Lynbrook will journey to Historic Jamestowne to learn more about Virginia state history and the wildlife that inhabit the area. We thank the National Park Service and Virgnia State Parks for providing maps of their park systems that will be used in the classroom.

The teachers and students raised resources needed for this trip. In addition, resources from NPT's Kids to Parks National Scholarship Fund were awarded to help the school reach their goal.
Potomac Lighthouse Public Charter School - Washington, D.C.
Twenty-six third graders from the Potomac Lighthouse Public Charter School in northeast D.C. will visit several natural spaces in D.C. including the U.S. Botanic Garden and the U.S. National Aboretum. Their teacher, Leighton Thomas was a Buddy Bison teacher at another D.C. school and asked NPT if we could bring the program to her new school.

"We are delighted to continue our work with Ms. Thomas and look forward to engaging her students with these iconic natural resources this spring", said William Schrack, NPT education director.
NPT Welcomes Youth Programs Coordinator


NPT welcomes our new Youth Programs Coordinator, Albert Arévalo. As the newest member to our education team, Albert will be working with many of our 44 Buddy Bison schools. In addition, he will also be helping with the numerous facets of National Kids to Parks Day. On weekends, Albert is a volunteer at Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. where he facilitates interpretive programs at the nature center and planetarium. A native Texan and lover of BBQ, Albert graduated from Texas State University-San Marcos with a bachelors of arts degree in sociology and Spanish. He also is passionate about the conservation of sea turtles along the Texas coast, and educating the public about conservation.

"We are excited to welcome Albert to the NPT team.His experience as an interperative volunteer with the National Park Service will be invaluable as we develop resources and work with teachers to make our program even stronger," said William Schrack, NPT education director.

Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Renew and Improve Landmark Conservation Program

Fifty years to the day after President John F. Kennedy sent the original Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) bill to Congress, Senate Finance Committee Chairman
Max Baucus (D-MT), Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) proposed legislation that would fully realize that program’s promise to conserve parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitat for the benefit of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation.

The legislation, titled the “Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act of 2013,” would fully and permanently fund LWCF at its authorized level of $900 million per year. (Read more)


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