A gift of $25 million from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy will lead the way for park enhancements at the very heart of the Presidio. This milestone gift marks the largest cash gift ever contributed to a national park. This honor came in conjunction with National Public Lands Day on September 28 and the anniversary of the date when the Presidio became a national park site on October 1, 1994. The Tunnel Top Parkland results from the construction of the Presidio Parkway (Doyle Drive replacement), which provides 10 new acres of parklands on the tunnel over the roadway, connecting the historic Main Post of the Presidio with Crissy Field. The vision for this site is a 21st century park destination full of visitor activities, scenic beauty, and connections to the diverse environments and programmatic offerings of the Presidio. The grant from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation also supports the expansion of indoor and outdoor facilities for youth programs at the Crissy Field Center. Located at the foot of the Tunnel Top Parkland, the Crissy Field Center is a nationally recognized program hub for youth engagement in environmental learning and community betterment. The vision for the new Tunnel Top Parkland also responds to the rising demand and tremendous promise for an expanded youth campus at Crissy Field to become the regional hub for environmental literacy, youth leadership and service. Widely regarded as a national model for environmental education and multicultural youth development, the Parks Conservancy’s youth programs at Crissy Field, in partnership with the National Park Service and Presidio Trust, effectively utilize national parks as outdoor classrooms and successfully link the parks, schools and community-based youth organizations. The proposed expansion of the Crissy Field Youth Campus will provide larger and improved facilities for programs, add capacity for educator trainings, and create a dynamic hub for community partners to take advantage of expanded collaboration - while inviting a greater number of urban youth into their local national park. Richard Millett, Executive Director of Intermountain Natural History Association, has been named the next president of the Peaks, Plateaus, and Canyons Association (PPCA). Richard's term will begin on January 1, 2014 and continue through December 31, 2015. Richard has already served as president of the Utah Coalition of Interpretive Associations (PPCA's predecessor) back in 1993, so this will be his second time around. Canyonlands Natural History Association's Barb Webb has agreed to serve a second term as PPCA's Secretary. Chris Eaton and Tracy Jones will continue to serve as PPCA's Vice President and Treasurer, respectively, through their terms that end on December 31, 2014. Julie Williams has joined the National Park Foundation as the Senior Vice President of Community Partnerships. In this role, she will lead NPF’s work to strengthen park philanthropy at the individual park level by working in partnership with Friends Groups. She will also lead the growth and strategic direction of the African American Experience Fund (AAEF) and the American Latino Heritage Fund (ALHF). You can reach Julie at 202-354-6474 and email@example.com. The Board of Trustees for the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has announced the appointment of W. Clark Bunting as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. Bunting will officially take the helm on November 11 as President of NPCA. Western National Parks Association and the Metropolitan Education Commission are challenging Southern Arizona high school students to an essay contest in which students can explore the meaning of national parks in a democracy. It will culminate in the publishing of the best essays and a reception during the 2014 Tucson Festival of Books with retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Students are invited to consider the relationship between national parks and the nation, how parks can reach broader segments of American society, and the significance of national parks in a society increasingly driven by city living, technological innovation, and the accelerating speed of communication.
Association of Partners for Public Lands News and Notes