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National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
LAKE MEAD NATIONAL RECREATION AREA Media Advisory
For Immediate Release: October 11, 2014
Release No.: 2014-81
REID CELEBRATES LAKE MEAD NRA'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY WITH PARK, VOLUNTEERS
BOULDER CITY, Nevada –U.S. Sen. Harry Reid helped Lake Mead National Recreation Area celebrate its 50th anniversary Oct. 11 at Cottonwood Cove Marina near Searchlight, Nevada.
"I'm happy to be here to join in this celebration," Reid told the crowd. "Lake Mead Recreation Area is tremendous."
Bill Dickinson, Lake Mead's superintendent, echoed his remarks. "Lake Mead National Recreation Area is truly a special place, a place of national significance and well worthy of the congressional action establishing it as a unit of the national park system on Oct. 8, 1964."
The park is made up of lakes Mead and Mohave and spreads across 1.5 million acres of Southern Nevada and Northern Arizona.
Reid, who grew up near Lake Mohave, shared some of his special memories of the area before presenting Dickinson with a copy of the Congressional Record that recognized the park's 50th anniversary.
"The park system is a remarkable, remarkable part of our country. In two years, we'll celebrate the 100th anniversary of the national park system. It is the envy of the rest of the world," said Reid.
The system includes 401 national parks, monuments, landmarks and recreation areas that are cared for as special places so that all may experience America's heritage.
Lake Mead was established as the park service's first national recreation area and is therefore not categorized as a national park, but Reid said: "I think we should look at Lake Mead Recreation Area really as a park because that's really what it is."
Before the ceremony, more than 150 volunteers and certified divers picked up litter around the beaches and under the marina to cleanup the park after a busy summer. Each summer, around 3 million people flock to Lake Mead and Lake Mohave, and Dickinson said over the past 50 years, more than 360 million people have visited the park.
"We have a lot to celebrate, both in terms of Lake Mead's 50th anniversary, as well as the upcoming 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016," Dickinson said.
The National Park Service centennial goal is to connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates. Lake Mead is starting to implement that goal now.
"To the families here today, thank you for introducing your kids to Lake Mead National Recreation Area and the National Park Service. We strive to be a place where your children can play, learn and serve –as many of you have done today," he said.
During the ceremony, Dickinson also recognized Forever Resorts for its commitment to sustainability. On behalf of National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, Dickinson presented John Schoppmann, Forever Resorts' executive vice president, with the 2014 National Park Service Environmental Achievement Award for Green Innovation.
The hospitality service provider and marina operator received the award for constructing the world's first floating LEED certified building.
"Forever Resorts led the team that transformed the old 30-year-old building into a state-of-the-art eco-friendly structure," said Dickinson.
Editor's Note: Hi-res images from the ceremony are available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/lakemeadnra/sets/72157648245768267/