|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||August 13, 2012|
|Contact:||Sharon Mader, Grand Teton Program Manager
National Parks Conservation Association
Jeff Billington, Senior Media Relations Manager National Parks Conservation Association 202-419-3717, firstname.lastname@example.org
Parks Group Presents Award to Sec. Salazar for Supporting Grand Teton Pathways System
Award Recognizes Interior Secretary’s Leadership in Collaboration with Local, State and Federal Agencies in Recognizing Park Pathways as a Model Project for America’s Great Outdoors
JACKSON, WY — The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) presented an award honoring U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar for his leadership in supporting the Grand Teton Pathway system as a model project for the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative (AGO). The award, which was accepted on Thursday by Grand Teton Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott, congratulated Sec. Salazar for promoting the pathways system and in agreement with Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead naming it one of two projects in the state to serve as national models for President Obama’s AGO Initiative.
“By choosing the Grand Teton Pathway system as an AGO priority, Sec. Salazar and the Obama Administration gave a much appreciated boost to a project that has been shepherded for the last ten years by NPCA, the National Park Service, local organizations and local and state government,” NPCA Grand Teton Program Manager Sharon Mader said. “Thanks to the secretary and state leaders like Gov. Mead, Sen. John Barrasso, and Mary Scott Gibson and her staff, the first 17 miles of this incredible system is now open, giving families and visitors from across the state, country and even the world an opportunity to get out of their cars, and experience up close the beauty that is Grand Teton National Park.”
When it is completed, the Grand Teton Pathway will be a system of 41 miles of paved pathways both within the park and connecting it to the gateway community of Jackson Hole, and Teton Village. Park visitors will be able to take a scenic ride along the base of the Grand Teton range, and enjoy the park by bicycle or on foot, experiencing its grandeur in a new and healthy way. Today’s event celebrates the construction of the second phase of construction, which added 9 miles of pathway, bringing the system to 17 miles. From there it connects to the Teton County pathway system for an additional six miles, completing the connection from the town of Jackson to Jenny Lake. This project was recognized as an America’s Great Outdoors project because it transcends political boundaries and connects landscapes together and enlarges the scope of Grand Teton National Park by giving local residents and park visitors greater access and appreciation for this iconic landscape.
“This system is one of the first of its kind within a national park and NPCA believes it can serve as a model for other parks,” Mader said. “But, we’re not done yet. With another 24 miles of pathways yet to be completed, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done and we know that all of the partners in this effort are eager to see the system completed. Working together, this project will transcend park boundaries, and complete a new vision for Grand Teton National Park and all of Jackson Hole.”