Awards and Recognition


Committed to ensuring that the National Park System represents America at its best are thousands of employees, volunteers, and partners. The men and women who make up the National Park Service embody the spirit of America - dedicated, creative, and hardworking people who care passionately about preserving the lands and cultures that epitomize our shared American heritage.

We're proud of our employees and those who work with us, their dedication and their amazing diversity of skills and talents. It is our privilege to recognize and celebrate their outstanding achievements through awards, including:

  • Appleman-Judd-Lewis Awards for Cultural Resource Management honoring employees for lasting contributions in the preservation of cultural resources.
  • Charles E. Peterson Prize presented jointly by the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) of the National Park Service, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and the American Institute of Architects to recognize the finest set of measured drawings in a college student competition.
  • Director's Partnership Awards recognizing National Park Service partners who, through community collaboration and engagement, have achieved outstanding accomplishments in preservation, conservation, education, and interpretation.
  • Environmental Achievement Awards recognizing parks and concessioners for exceptional contributions in environmental management systems, environmental stewardship, green purchasing, minimizing petroleum use in transportation, recycling, sustainable design/green building, sustainable energy practices, and waste/pollution prevention.
  • Freeman Tilden Award recognizing creative and exemplary work that enhances the visitor experience. It is the highest award given by the National Park Service for excellence in interpretation.
  • George and Helen Hartzog Awards recognizing volunteers for the hard work, vast skills, and contributions that lead to development of innovative projects and volunteer involvement.
  • Harry Yount Award honoring employees for outstanding service in traditional ranger duties such as search and rescue, emergency assistance, and protecting visitors and park resources. It is named for the man considered to be the first national park ranger.
  • Natural Resource Awards honoring accomplishments in six categories: Excellence in Natural Resource Stewardship, Superintendent of the Year for Natural Resource Stewardship, Natural Resource Management, Professional Excellence in Natural Resources, Excellence in Natural Resource Research, and the Trish Patterson Student Conservation Association Award for Natural Resource Management in a Small Park.
  • Partners in Conservation Awards recognizing Department of the Interior employees and partners who, through community collaboration and engagement, have achieved outstanding accomplishments in preservation, conservation, education, and interpretation.
  • Safety Excellence Awards recognizing outstanding contributions to public and employee safety.
  • Wes Henry National Wilderness Stewardship Award recognizing outstanding contributions to wilderness stewardship by an individual or group.