Resource Apr 11, 2024

Awards and Recognition

The National Parks Conservation Association has had the privilege of presenting awards to decision makers, organizations, and individuals that have made a difference for national parks. The contributions these award-winners have made are vital to the continued excellence of our National Park System.

William Penn Mott Park Leadership and Centennial Leadership Awards

Initially titled the Conservationist of the Year Award, the William Penn Mott Park Leadership Award was the first created by NPCA. The award was renamed in 1993 to honor the late NPS Director and NPCA board member, William Penn Mott. It recognizes the efforts of a member of Congress or other public official who stands as a strong advocate of the National Park System.

The Centennial Leadership Award recognizes a public official or private citizen who has made an outstanding contribution toward ensuring that the national parks are ready and well-prepared for their second century of service to the American people.

Recent recipients:

2024 Senator Debbie Stabenow (Centennial)
2023 Mo Rocca (Centennial)
2023 David Vela (Centennial)
2022 Bob Stanton (Mott)
2022 Audrey Peterman (Centennial)
2020/2021 Fran Ulmer (Centennial)
2019 Gerard Baker, Keith D. Campbell Foundation, Sylvia Cyrus, Deny Galvin (Centennial)
2018 The Honorable Sally Jewell (Mott)
2016 Gretchen Long (Centennial)
2015 Senator Patty Murray & Representative Mike Simpson (Mott)
2013 Mayor Michael Bloomberg & Secretary Ken Salazar (Mott)
2012 Senator Rob Portman (Centennial)
2010 Senator Max Baucus (Mott)
Senator Howard Baker, Jr. & Senator J. Bennett Johnston (Centennial)
2009 Senator Jeff Bingaman (Mott)
Secretary Dirk Kempthorne (Centennial)
2008 Senator Harry Reid (Mott)
2007 Representative Nick Rahall (Mott)
2006 Senator Lamar Alexander (Mott)
2005 Senator Dianne Feinstein (Mott)
2004 Representative Norm Dicks (Mott)
2003 Representative Ralph Regula (Mott)
2002 Laurance S. Rockefeller (Mott)
2001 Representative John Lewis (Mott)
2000 Senator John McCain (Mott)
1999 President Jimmy Carter & Governor Cecil Andrus (Mott)
1998 Senator Craig Thomas (Mott)
1997 Honorable Bruce Babbitt (Mott)
1996 Senator Nancy Kassebaum, Honorable Dan Glickman, Representative Jan Meyers & Senator Pat Roberts (Mott)
1995 Lowell Thomas, Jr. (Mott)
1994 Ambassador L.W. “Bill” Lane (Mott)
1993 Representative Sidney Yates (Mott)
1992 Representative Chas. Bennett (Mott)
1991 Association of National Park Rangers (Mott)
1990 Governor Bob Martinez (Mott)
1989 Senator Dale Bumpers (Mott)
1988 Representative Frank Wolf, Representative Robert Mrazek & Representative Michael Andrews (Mott)
1987 Representative Bruce Vento (Mott)
1986 Governor Bob Graham (Mott)
1985 William Penn Mott, Jr. (Mott)
1984 Senator John Chafee (Mott)
1983 Representative John Seiberling (Mott)
1982 Senator Henry Jackson (Mott)
1981 Dama Rice & Judy Johnson (Mott)
1980 Representative Morris Udall (Mott)

National Park Defender Award

This new award was established by NPCA to recognize corporate partners for their considerable contributions to and in support of national park conservation work.


2024 Wondery Outdoors
2023 Yellowstone Bourbon
2022 Nature Valley
2021 Parks Project

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Citizen Conservationist of the Year

Annual award created in 1985 to recognize outstanding efforts by an individual that resulted in the protection of a unit or proposed unit of the National Park System.

Recent recipients:

2022 Amache Preservation Society
2021 Dr. Martin “Marty” Arostegui
2020 Buffalo River Coalition
2019 All Pueblo Council of Governors
2018 The Mission Continues
2016 Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition
2015 Barbara Takei
2014 Pullman Partners
2013 Peter Gove
2012 Gordon Bennett
2011 Citizens for a Ft. Monroe National Park
2010 Luke Hyde
2009 Friends of Acadia
2008 Clarence Moriwaki
2007 “Stop the Casino”
2006 Lloyd Miller
2005 Dick Hingson
2004 Martin Hanson
2003 Dick Watkins
2002 Ted Snyder, Ray Payne, Leroy Fox
2001 Brian & Rosalynn Scherf
1999 Estes Park League of Women Voters
1998 Frank & Audrey Peterman
1997 Jim & Heidi Barrett
1996 Maxine Johnston
1995 Pinkie Lemon
1994 Amy Meyer
1992 Liane Russell
1991 Isaac Eastvold
1990 Frank Masland
1989 Polly Dyer
1988 Robert Cahn
1987 Ed Wayburn
1986 Mike Frome
1985 Marjory S. Douglas

National Park Achievement Award

Originally referred to as the NPCA Honor Award, this award recognizes outstanding efforts by an individual, group, or entity whose singular accomplishments or actions in a specific locality or region, or on the national level on behalf of the National Park System, are worthy of public recognition.

Recent recipients:

2024 Sara Capen and the Alliance of National Heritage Areas
2017 Chris Calvert
2014 Rep. (Col.) Paul Cook
2012 Sec. Ken Salazar
2012 WY Dept of Transp.
2012 WA Gov. Gregoire, WA Dept. of Transp.
2008 Arnold & Porter
2007 Hogan & Hartson
2005 Supt. Mary Martin
2004 Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Robert C. Byrd, Sen. Maria Cantwell, Sen. Kay Hutchison, Sen. Jon Kyl, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Harry Reid, Sen. Arlen Specter, Sen. Craig Thomas
2004 Rep. Brian Baird, Rep. Doug Bereuter, Rep. Alan Boyd, Rep. Shelley Capito, Rep. Donna Christensen, Rep. Ander Crenshaw, Rep. John Duncan, Rep. Jennifer Dunn, Rep. Jim Gerlach, Rep. Joe Hoeffel, Rep. Nick Rahall, Rep. Rick Renzi, Rep. Mark Souder, Rep. Jim Turner, Rep. Zach Wamp
2003 Bernadette Laqueur
2002 Ron Clark
2001 Richard Ring
2001 Cashmir Grochowska
2001 Herman Green
2001 Miccosukee Tribe
2000 City of Springdale, UT
1996 Rep. John Lewis
1995 Judy Johnson
1995 Rep. Mike Synar
1995 Sen. Dianne Feinstein
1990 Keith Easthouse
1990 Isaac Eastvold
1990 Hope Aldrich

Robin W. Winks Award for Enhancing Public Understanding of National Parks

Annual award created in 1999 to recognize an individual or organization that has effectively communicated the values of the National Park System to the American public.

2024 Juan D. Martinez Pineda
2023 Molly Hennessey-Fiske
2022 Jack Gladstone
2020/2021 QT Luong
2019 Thomas D. Mangelsen
2018 Betty Reid Soskin
2017 Jack Steward and Colton Smith, “Rock the Parks”
2017 Max Slavkin and Aaron Perry-Zucker, Creative Action Network
2015 Douglas Brinkley
2014 Milton Chen
2013 Terry Tempest Williams
2012 Shelton Johnson
2011 Nevada Barr
2010 Ken Burns & Dayton Duncan
2009 Maya Lin
2008 E.O. Wilson, PhD.
2007 National Geographic
2006 James MacPherson
2005 Tom Brokaw
2004 R. E. “Ted” Turner
2003 David McCullough
2002 Tony Hillerman
2001 Dr. Sylvia Earle
2000 David Muench
1999 Robin W. Winks

Stephen Tyng Mather Award Recipients

This award recognizes annually a federal employee who has risked his/her career for the principles and practices of good stewardship of the national parks during the previous calendar year.

Recent recipients:

2023 Darla Sidles
2022 Teri Gage and Todd Ravesloot
2021 Cassius Cash and Christine Lehnertz
2019 Dr. Patrick Gonzalez
2018 Antonio Solorio
2017 Debra Hughson and Frank Hays
2016 Kate Cannon
2015 Russ Galipeau and Kate Faulkner
2014 Dan Wenk
2013 Valerie Naylor
2012 Pamela Underhill
2011 Joan Anzelmo
2010 Mike Caldwell
Deirdre Gibson
2009 Don Shephard
2008 John Latcher
2007 Donald Campbell
2006 Vaughn Baker
2005 J.T. Reynolds
2004 Gary Candelaria
2003 David Uberuaga
2002 Jim Renfro
2001 Steve Martin
2000 John Donahue
1999 Constantine Dillon
1998 Denis R. Davis
1997 Ernest Quintana
1996 Riley Hoggard
1995 Dan Kimball
1994 Frank Buono
1993 Wm. Reilly
1992 William Wade
1991 Christine Shaver
1990 Boyd Evison
1989 Robert Barbee
1988 Norman Bishop
1987 Howard Chapman
1986 John Morehead
1985 Robert Haradan
1984 William Jewell

Sequoia Award

Occasional award created in 2012 to recognize individuals who have made an extraordinary commitment to NPCA and its work in any or all of the following areas: philanthropy, volunteer service, programmatic or policy impact.

Recent recipients:

2019 Marie Ridder
2016 Dorothy Cantor
2014 Tom Secunda
2012 Fred Stanback

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