FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(CHARLESTOWN, NH, September 28, 2009)---The Student Conservation Association (SCA), the nation's leading provider of conservation service opportunities for youth, has enthusiastically endorsed the National Parks Second Century Commission's plan to strengthen America's park system. Last week, the independent Commission issued a sweeping series of recommendations to the White House, the U.S. Congress, and the American people to inspire change in our national parks in advance of the parks' 2016 centennial.
"From spectacular wilderness areas to iconic cultural landmarks, our national parks are America's greatest treasures," states SCA President Dale Penny. "They represent our shared heritage, provide daily inspiration, and must be protected for future generations. The Second Century Commission has authored remarkable roadmap for the parks' next 100 years, and the SCA urges our elected leaders and all who revere our parklands to see that these measures are implemented swiftly and effectively."
Penny lauded the Commission for recognizing the need to build new connections between national parks and the American public. "Among the many important recommendations in this report," Penny says, "the SCA applauds the Commission's call for national parks and other federal lands to articulate their role in the nation's overall conservation and preservation strategy. "In addition, we support the concept of sustainability plans for ‘lived-in' urban and rural landscapes and the proposal to make the national park system more inclusive and representative of America's diverse population. These steps will help make our national parks more relevant to a much larger portion of the American public.
"We are also pleased to see education prioritized within this plan, particularly reaching beyond park borders through new partnerships with schools and via online technology. And, of course, the SCA sees the proposed expansion of service and stewardship opportunities in and around parks nationwide as an absolutely essential part of any effective vision for the parks.
"Places like Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Acadia have graced our land for millennia," Penny continues, "but protecting these parks for the future requires us to keep the ‘public' in public lands. As one who testified before the Commission in favor of broader public engagement, especially among younger and diverse audiences, I look forward to supporting this advancement of this important proposal in the weeks and months ahead."
The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is the only national conservation force of college and high school-aged members who protect and restore America's parks, forests, refuges, seashores and urban communities in all 50 states. Since 1957, the SCA's hands-on practice of conservation service has helped to develop a new generation of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship, and save the planet. The SCA is a non-profit headquartered in Charlestown, New Hampshire. For more, logon at thesca.org.