Statement by Student Conservation Association President Dale Penny on the National Park Service’s Green Parks Plan


Thursday, April 19, 2012: SCA applauds the National Park Service for its leadership in adopting and promoting environmentally sustainable practices, and we are confident that the SCA community – field members, alumni, and other active stewards – will welcome the Green Parks Plan as well.  By consuming fewer resources, limiting waste, and mitigating climate change, NPS is setting a wise and responsible course as it approaches its 2016 centennial and setting an exemplary example for other government agencies, private businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

We are especially pleased by the Park Service’s commitment to engage young people on issues related to sustainability and parks, particularly through youth volunteer and employment opportunities.  Our perspective, developed over more than 50 years of placing student interns in national parks and other public lands, is that these experiences cultivate a powerful conservation ethic in our youth and that young people are tremendously effective at connecting with others, sharing information, and making lasting impressions.

Additionally, by focusing on the 280 million people who visit our national parks each year, the Green Parks plan rightly recognizes that the parks’ mission must extend beyond park boundaries and promote conservation and sustainability at home, at school, and at work.  Given its extensive reach and captivating venues, we believe the National Park Service has a unique opportunity to actively educate park visitors in the practice of sound stewardship.  Accordingly, SCA looks forward to extending our collaboration with NPS to assist in achieving its urgent sustainability goals.

Student Conservation Association