|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||March 28, 2012|
|Contact:||Alison Zemanski, Media Relations Manager National Parks Conservation Association P:202.384.8762 or firstname.lastname@example.org|
National Parks Conservation Association’s Annual Salute to Parks Award Gala to Honor Park Stewards
Washington, D.C. –The nation’s leading park advocacy organization, the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), will tonight honor Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Shelton Johnson, National Park Service Ranger at Yosemite National Park, for their outstanding work on behalf of America’s national parks. The event, Salute to the Parks: Protecting America’s Heritage, will take place at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. and its theme is based on the Mather Mountain Party, a camping trip, led by Stephen Mather almost 100 years ago. Accompanied by conservations, science, media and political figures, Mather discussed his vision for an agency to oversee all of the national parks. The National Park Service was created one year later, with Stephen Mather as the agency’s first director.
“Tonight we honor two great park national park stewards that provide valuable support for our national parks so that future generations can experience and enjoy these treasured places,” said Tom Kiernan, president for the National Parks Conservation Association. “It is our pleasure to recognize their leadership and tireless passion for protecting and preserving our national parks nationwide.”
This year’s annual dinner draws dignitaries, members of Congress, National Park Service staff, and national park supporters from across the country back to the dinner table, as Mather did nearly 100 years ago, to discuss America’s national parks. Among those include Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) who will receive the Centennial Leadership Award to for his extraordinary commitment to protecting America’s wildlife, public lands, and national parks. In addition, Shelton Johnson, National Park Service Ranger for Yosemite National Park, will receive the Robin W. Winks Award for Enhancing Public Understanding of National Parks and effectively communicating the values of the National Park System to the American public. Attendees will view an inspiring video by NPCA staff member Amy Marquis about Johnson’s great work at Yosemite titled The Way Home: Returning to the National Parks. The video features Shelton’s quest to connect diverse audiences to our national parks.
National Council member, and former Board chair for NPCA, Stephen Mather McPherson, will also play a role at this year’s annual gala and will share a quote delivered by his grandfather, Stephen Mather, during the original Mather Mountain Party.
The 2012 Salute to the Parks awards dinner commemorates the preservation and protection of America’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage at America’s national parks. For additional information, please click here.
About NPCA: Since 1919, NPCA has been the leading voice of the American people in protecting and enhancing our National Park System. NPCA, its more than 600,000 members and supporters, and many partners work together to protect the park system and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for generations to come. For more information, please visit: www.npca.org.