Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Creating Partnerships for Our Public Lands

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Creating Partnerships for Our Public Lands

Article excerpt

The following passages are excerpts from David Rockefeller, Jr., who delivered this speech at the Nov. 18 Joint Ventures: Partnerships in Stewardship Conference in Los Angeles, Calif. Rockefeller is vice chair of the National Park Foundation..

Not only have I been privileged to serve for more than eight years on the National Park Foundation board, but I have been glad to help a local support group, Friends of Acadia, strengthen its relationship with the leadership of Acadia National Park (my summer neighbor on the Maine coast), by helping to put volunteers to work on Acadia's walking trails, and welcoming the newest superintendent at a reception in our house last summer.

It is clear to me that any effective strategy for building public support of our national lands must engage the local, regional and national players in concert. As vice chair of the National Park Foundation (NPF), I pledge to pursue a course of "inclusion and collaboration," not only with our federal partners but with our private counterparts whose work is to support individual parks. 1 urge all of you to work with its.

I am especially proud of the nonfinancial ways in which the NPF has been able to support the National Park Service and System, such as:

* The Message Project that clarified the identity of the national parks;

* The national parks pass that connects the American public more closely to their parks; and

* The fee study that helped to evaluate and renew the fee demonstration project.

These were all efforts that involved much more than money.

In the eight years since Jim Maddy has been president of the National Park Foundation, we have seen a 1,000-percent growth in benefits flowing from us to national parks. We arc especially proud of our largest corporate partnerships with Ford (the Glacier red busses), American Airlines, Discovery Communications (Visitor Center Rims), Kodak and Time Magazine (free inserts focused on the parks.)

We are proud of our growing relationships with new local private initiatives like the Glacier Fund and Crater Lake National Park Trust.

We are proud of our most inspirational grant programs, like parks as classrooms, and refurbishing the Washington Monument.

At the same time NPF has been growing, so have the leading local support groups such as the Golden Gate Conservancy, the Yellowstone Foundation, the Yosemite Fund and Friends of Acadia. …

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