Each year the National Park Service recognizes the outstanding achievements of our partners. Throughout the nation, National Park Service partners are engaged in a wide variety of complex, multi-year projects that align with and engage local, state and national organizations, agencies, schools, universities, museums, corporations, and more.
Their accomplishments, which reflect years of planning and work; communication and collaboration; deepen our experiences and bring home the meanings, relevance and importance of our nation's special places, people, and stories.
Please join us in thanking and congratulating the recipients of the 2017 Director's Partnership Awards!
2017 Director's Partnership Award
Lassen Park Foundation
For over thirty years, the Lassen Park Foundation has enhanced visitor experience and promoted the stewardship of Lassen Volcanic National Park through their funding and leadership support of major visitor service initiatives; research and trail rehabilitation projects; and education and youth engagement opportunities. The impact of their work is experienced by visitors during their first stops in the park, at Lassen Crossroads information pavilion and the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, to their more immersive experiences hiking to the summit of a volcano, camping under the stars at Volcano Adventure Camp (OK, so who here doesn't want to go to Volcano Adventure Camp!?), participating in an internship, and exploring newly restored habitats.
Byron Bell, President of the Board of Trustees, Saint-Gaudens Memorial
As President of the Board of Trustees of Saint-Gaudens Memorial for 22 years, Mr. Bell’s achievements have had far reaching impact on Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. Over the years he has directed and implemented the acquisition, stabilization, maintenance, and donation of the Blow-Me-Down Farm to the National Park Service, which greatly expanded interpretive and visitor opportunities. Through Mr. Bell’s leadership, the Memorial provided funding and programmatic support to a variety of annual programs, art exhibits, concerts, and films that celebrate the life and legacy of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and of art in general. Mr. Bell has also expanded community partnerships - including initiating a partnership with the National Gallery of Art to preserve and showcase major works of art.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area; the Presidio Trust, and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
From 2012 to 2017, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Presidio Trust and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy worked together to design, build, and open the William Penn Mott Jr. Presidio Visitor Center. This partnership, characterized by consensus building and collaboration; capitalized on each partner’s expertise and experience to navigate through a tenant exchange process, rehabilitate a historic building for adapted reuse, manage the design and construction process, create state of the art, multi-language, interactive exhibits, and develop interpretive sales products. Today, visitors entering the visitor center are welcomed by employees representing each partner and presented with a seamless introduction to their unique but overlapping missions and work.
MotorCities National Heritage Area, Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island
The Motor Cities National Heritage Trail, Find Your Road Trip, Find Yourself, harkens families, history buffs and explorers on a trip through the innovation, industry, and impact automobiles have had on the nation and world. In conjunction with the 2016 National Park Service Centennial celebration and the Find Your Park outreach campaign, the MotorCities National Heritage Area, Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island collaborated with 30 historic sites, six national park units, the State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Executive Office and a myriad of other partners to develop, design and market the Find Your Road Trip guide and MotorCities Passport Stamp program. The guide introduces travelers to 30 sites and stories that shaped the history of the automobile industry and to six National Parks. Since launching, 40,000 copies have been distributed, it has reached a national and international audience and has elicited enthusiasm from travelers who have taken to the road, guide in hand.
National Geographic Society; Gary Knell, President and CEO, National Geographic Society
Every year, for ten years, Mr. Gary Knell, President and CEO of the National Geographic Society, partnered with the National Park Service to engage citizens and communities in two-day species inventories at nine urban located national parks. In 2016, this effort culminated during the National Park Service Centennial, when the National Geographic Society provided the funding, planning, and logistical support to coordinate a two day BioBlitz festival on the nation-mall and, simultaneously, at over 100 National Parks nation-wide. Over the years, they have engaged youth groups, schools, universities, and local community residents and partners (over 52,000 participants) in the immersive experience of finding and identifying 22,316 species; contributing to the understanding and protection of our nation's biodiversity.
Michaeleen McDonald, Lincoln Monument Association and the Oak Ridge Cemetery Foundation; Pam VanAlstine, Edwards Place at the Springfield Art Association; Terry Jones, New Salem State Historic Site; E.L. Williamson, Pam King, and Jerrie Blakely, Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum; Sue Massie, Elijah Iles House: Museum of Springfield History; Laura Gundrum, Lincoln Home National Historic Site; Justin Blandford, Springfield State Historic Sites
Michaeleen McDonald, Lincoln Monument Association and Oak Ridge Cemetary Foundation, Pam VanAlstine, Edwards Place at the Springfield Art Association, Terry Jones, New Salem State Historic Site, E.L. Williamson, Pam King, and Jerrie Blakely, Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum, Sue Massie, Elijah Iles House: Museum of Springfield History, Laura Gundrum, Lincoln Home National Historic Site and Justin Blandford, Springfield State Historic Sites, brought the personal stories, achievements, and legacy of local and national leaders to life through their planning, fundraising, and implementation of the Explore Your Story, History through Arts and Crafts summer program. Through joint planning of programming, including living history, re-enactments, arts and crafts, and learning through storytelling, 30 local area day-camp participants learned about the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Tubman; shared their own personal stories; and learned about the history and significance of national, state and local historic sites located in their communities.
Read about the 2016 Director's Partnership Award Recipients.
Last updated: October 4, 2017