National Park Trust Honors Sen. Martin Heinrich (NM) with 2018 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC (June 13, 2018) – At an evening reception at the Newseum, the National Park Trust (NPT) awarded Sen. Martin Heinrich (NM) with the 18th Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award. The award was presented by NPT board chair Bill Brownell.
A member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Subcommittee on National Parks, Senator Heinrich was recognized for his outstanding efforts to support and advocate for the protection of our national parks and public lands and waters. He also serves on the Senate Committee on Armed Services, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee.
“Our national parks not only celebrate some of the most extraordinary natural places in our country, they are also part of the fabric of our democracy and fuel our thriving outdoor recreation economy,” said Senator Heinrich. “I am honored to receive this award from the National Park Trust and appreciate the work they do every day to protect our public lands for future generations to enjoy.”
Senator Heinrich was recognized for his numerous accomplishments including his leadership in creating two treasured National Monuments in New Mexico — the Rio Grande del Norte and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monuments. He also has helped to create the 45,000 acre Columbine-Hondo Wilderness area, and worked to protect the natural and cultural resources in the Valles Caldera National Preserve while ensuring that new management will increase access for hunting and fishing.
He was instrumental in opening up the Sabinoso Wilderness to the public, which was the only legally inaccessible wilderness area in the country, and he worked to have legislation signed into law to establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park after more than a decade of support from the local community. He has consistently advocated for permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. In May 2018, the Senator introduced legislation to designate White Sands National Monument as a National Park.
Recognizingthe importance of encouraging kids to experience the great outdoors, in 2017,through bipartisan efforts, Senator Heinrich introduced the Every Kid Outdoors Act to provide all fourth graders nationwide free entrance to federally managed land, waters, and historic sites, including national parks. And once again he co-sponsored the 2018 National Kids to Parks Day Senate resolution.
“We are delighted to be able to honor Senator Martin Heinrich for his service in Washington, D.C. and at home in New Mexico to support bi-partisan legislation and programs that will not only preserve America’s national parks and public lands today, but also ensure that they will be here for the enjoyment of our country’s families tomorrow,” stated NPT Board Chair Bill Brownell.
ABOUT THE VENTO AWARD
NPT established the Vento Award in 2000 to honor the memory and legacy of Bruce F. Vento, a twelve-term Congressman from Minnesota, dedicated environmentalist and a champion of legislation for America’s parks. The award honors a public servant for his or her commitment to the environment, and his service, skill and innovation in support of our public lands. Past recipients include Senator Lamar Alexander (TN), Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN), Senator Rob Portman (OH), Senator Ron Wyden (OR), Congressman Mike Simpson (ID), Senator Mark Udall (CO), Senator Susan Collins (ME), Senator Jeff Bingaman (NM), Senator John McCain (AZ), Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA), Congressman George Miller (CA), and Senator Harry Reid (NV).
All proceeds from the event benefit NPT’s park preservation and youth programs.
ABOUT NATIONAL PARK TRUST
National Park Trust’s mission is preserving parks today; creating park stewards for tomorrow. In the 35 years since NPT was established, the non-profit organization has completed more than 60 land acquisition, restoration, and mitigation projects in 30 states, 1 U.S. Territory and Washington, D.C. including 48 National Park Service projects. In 2009, NPT launched its nationally recognized Buddy Bison Programs which currently supports more than 200 Title I schools across the country. Since 2011, NPT has organized Kids to Parks Day, an annual national celebration of America’s parks hosted on the third Saturday in May. For more details about NPT can be found atwww.parktrust.org.
August 25th, the National Park Service (NPS) celebrates its 101st birthday (also known as Founders Day) and you are invited! Friday is a fee-free day so anyone can visit a national park site and skip the admission charge. With more than 400 sites across the country, there may be one near you. Click here to search NPS sites by state and go celebrate in a park!
Did you know that on August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Organic Act into law, creating the National Park Service? The purpose of the newly formed agency was, and still is, “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
As an official NPS partner, National Park Trust’s mission supports our national parks by preserving these unique historic places and iconic landscapes in perpetuity. We acquire high-priority, privately held land located within or adjacent to the boundaries of our national parks and donate them to NPS for permanent protection. We also cultivate future park stewards and outdoor enthusiasts by engaging youth, especially those who are under-served, with our nation’s numerous parks and public lands.
Speaking of public lands, mark your calendars! The next NPS fee-free day is September 30th in celebration of National Public Lands Day (NPLD). You can support our parks by participating in a service project at many federal public lands and some state parks too. More information on NPLD is available here from our friends at National Environmental Education Foundation(NEEF).
#ThrowBackThursday: This Thursday is the anniversary of Joshua Tree National Park becoming an NPS site. On August 10, 1936, Joshua Tree National Monument was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt thanks in large part to Minerva Hoyt and others who persuaded the state and federal governments to protect the area. Joshua Tree was elevated to a National Park in 1994 by the Desert Protection Act.
Did you know? In 2001 NPT purchased an 80-acre in-holding in the park which contained a critical segment of the Rockhouse and Thermal Canyon Trail network. The property is also an excellent habitat for the chuckwalla, a large, shy lizard. NPT donated the parcel to the National Park Service (NPS) ensuring its protection in perpetuity.
The property is located in a wild, rugged, and remote corner of the park affording visitors wonderful opportunities for solitude and a sense of discovery.
“As the population of the Coachella Valley continues to grow and expand toward the park, the value of NPT’s donation to Joshua Tree and the American public will only grow over time. The NPT donation will protect public access to this beautiful section of the park,” said then park Superintendent Ernie Quintana.
Joshua Tree National Park, located near Palm Springs, CA, became a national monument in 1936 and then a biosphere reserve in 1984. In 1994 it was established as a national park to protect and preserve a representative area of the Colorado and Mojave deserts and their natural and cultural resources for the benefit of this and future generations.
Click here for more information on our park preservation projects or contact Phil Selleck (301) 279-7275 ext. 14.
Thanks to generous support from The Carls Foundation, NPT will purchase an important historic property to benefit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (MI).
The Munising Range Lights and Keeper’s House complex, in service since 1908, is owned by the National Park Service (NPS) and still operated by the U.S. Coast Guard as an aid to navigation. The lights are arranged so that when a ship captain lines up one above the other, they will navigate safe passage along a channel into or out of the Munising Harbor.
Behind the Keeper’s House is a small piece of private property with a non-historic house. Purchasing the property and removing the non-historic house is a priority for the park because it would improve the historic site. The project puts NPT one step closer to its pledge to acquire and donate 100 high-priority properties to NPS, in commemoration of the NPS Centennial.
National Park Trust, Outdoors Alliance for Kids Receive The North Face 2017 Explore Fund Grant
Groups will expand access to the outdoors for under-served fourth graders, military kids, and advance Every Kid in a Park program
Washington, D.C. – National Park Trust (NPT) and Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) are pleased to announce that The North Face has awarded a $20,000 2017 Explore Fund grant to benefit NPT’s national Buddy Bison School Program. The Buddy Bison Program was created in 2009 with the goal of getting kids from under-served communities engaged with our nation’s parks and public lands.
Hundreds of 4th graders from Title I schools, will kick off the third year of the federal Every Kid in a Park program in 3 cities including Washington, D.C., New York City, and San Francisco. They will participate in marquee events at national parks with The North Face, National Park Trust, OAK, and partners and be welcomed into the Buddy Bison Program which provides park experiences throughout the year promoting 1) health and wellness through outdoor recreation; 2) education using parks as outdoor classrooms for STEM, history, and social studies; and 3) park stewardship through volunteer and career opportunities.
“The Outdoors Alliance for Kids supports the Every Kid in a Park program to ensure all fourth graders and their families are encouraged to visit America’s parks and public lands,” said Jackie Ostfeld, Founder and Chair of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids. “We’re honored and thankful that The North Face has made such an important investment to ensure more and more children are able to have a park experience, and we look forward to growing our partnership. Private investments in the national Every Kid in a Park program are nearing the $5 million mark in just the first few years and contributions like this one from The North Face demonstrate the value the private sector places on the program.”
In addition to the 4th graders from Washington, D.C., New York City, and San Francisco, the Explore Funds awarded to NPT and OAK also provides support for military kids from Scott Air Force Base located in Saint Clair County, Illinois by connecting them to their nearby national park — the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St Louis, Missouri. This new partnership with the Department of Defense is designed to help students discover local parks in their new communities as military families are relocated from one base to another.
“We are delighted to partner with The North Face and Outdoors Alliance for Kids to provide national park experiences for hundreds of diverse youth. For many of these students, this is their very first park trip, but after a fun and action-packed day, they are eager to return again and again and create even more memories with their friends and family. These young people are our future outdoor enthusiasts and stewards of these iconic treasures,” stated Grace Lee, Executive Director of National Park Trust.
The North Face selected a total of 43 non-profits that create opportunities for people to develop a passion for the outdoors and desire to care for local parks and public lands. Selected programs use outdoor exploration as a catalyst for positive personal or societal change, to encourage healthy lifestyles, and promote environmental stewardship.
“A desire and willingness to explore and care for our outdoor playgrounds is part of our brand DNA,” said Ann Krcik, senior director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face. “We are proud to support these outstanding programs that expose participants to benefits of the outdoors. Through The North Face Explore Fund grants, we are building a community of outdoor explorers and inspiring people to love and protect the places where we play.”
As part of its mission to start a global movement of outdoor exploration, The North Face introduced Explore Fund (www.explorefund.org) in 2010 and the program has since provided more than $2.75 million in grants to organizations committed to inspiring people to explore the outdoors and care for the environment.
About The North Face®
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1966. Headquartered in Alameda, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers, and major outdoor specialty retail chains.
About National Park Trust
National Park Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. Established in 1983, NPT has completed park preservation projects benefiting 49 national parks and other public lands in 33 states and Washington, D.C. Since 2009, NPT’s Buddy Bison School Program and national Kids to Parks Day have engaged 3,000,000 students across the country with our national parks, public lands and waters. www.parktrust.org
About the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK)
OAK is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with a common interest in connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors. The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the wellness of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. OAK brings together nearly 100 businesses and organizations to address the growing divide between children, youth and the natural world. www.outdoorsallianceforkids.org