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Take Part in The National Park Centennial Initiative

March 15, 2007

Take Part in The National Park Centennial Initiative
March 15, 2007 –President Bush recently issued a challenge to the National Park Service and the American people to work together to strengthen national parks and to prepare them for another century of conservation, preservation and enjoyment. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and National Park Service Director Mary Bomar are heeding this call and will conduct a series of listening sessions to seek suggestions and ideas from Americans across the country. The National Park Centennial Initiative aims to reinvigorate and strengthen national parks over the next decade.

Listening sessions will be held in different regions of the country to help shape the character of Centennial Signature Projects and Programs. These projects and programs will use federal funds, up to $100 million per year, to match contributions from private partners.

"We will travel the country listening to our fellow citizens who care deeply about our national parks," Secretary Kempthorne said. "This is a time for a thoughtful review of what needs to be done over the next decade – a great opportunity to think big and act boldly to develop a plan to prepare national parks for the future."

Participants are being asked to focus their comments on three vital questions:

  • Think of your children and grandchildren enjoying national parks in 2016 and beyond. How do you imagine their visit? What are your hopes and expectations?


  • What role do you think national parks should play in the lives of Americans and visitors from around the world?


  • What are the signature projects and programs that you think should be highlighted for completion over the next 10 years?

Kempthorne and Bomar will then take what they have learned from these discussions and will identify signature projects and programs and set specific goals for more ranger-led programs, restored natural and cultural sites and greater volunteerism and philanthropy. They will present their recommendations to the President by May 31.

Listening sessions will be held in the following cities: St. Louis, Mo., and Boston, Mass. (March 15); San Antonio, Texas, New York City and Seattle, Wash. (March 20); Denver, Colo. and San Juan, Puerto Rico (March 21); San Francisco, Calif. and Miami, Fla. (March 22); Cleveland, Ohio (March 26); Albuquerque, N.M., Atlanta, Ga. and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (March 27); Washington, D.C. (March 28); and Los Angeles, Calif. (March 29). Venues and additional sessions will be announced at a future date.

The public also may provide comments on the National Park Centennial Initiative Web site from March 12 through March 31 at

NTA members are encouraged to attend listening sessions in your neck of the woods and let us know what you think. If you can’t make it to a session, please go online to share your thoughts on the future of our parks.

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