NPCA Award

On March 27, 2012 the National Parks Conservation Association awarded the Marjory Stoneman Award to Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park at a reception at the historic Decatur Harris in Washington, DC.
(1) Here is a video of the presentation of the award.
(2) Here is a video of Adrian Whitcomb reading his poem, “A Fortress Standing by the Sea” at the reception.
(3) Here is a video of Senator Rob Portman of Ohio speaking at the reception.

At the NPCA Salute to the Parks Awards Gala at the National Building Museum, Washington, DC on March 28, 2012 NPCA Vice President Theresa Pierno recognized CFMNP’s Achievements.Here is a video of her comments concerning CFMNP.

Award winner Shelton Johnson, Park Ranger from Yosemite gave an inspiring speech at the Awards Gala. Here is a video of his speech.


National Parks Group Awards Citizens for Fort Monroe National Park with Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award
Date: March 27, 2012
Contact: Pam Goddard, Chesapeake and Virginia Program Manager National Parks Conservation Association, P:202.454.3365; C: 202.604.3781
Alison Zemanski, Media Relations Manager National Parks Conservation Association, P: 202.454.3332; C: 202.384.8762

Washington, D.C. – The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) today will honor the Citizens for Fort Monroe National Park with its Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award in Washington for the group’s advocacy and dedication to make Fort Monroe a national park site.

“When the Department of Defense announced that the U.S. Army would close the military base at Fort Monroe in 2005, the Citizens for Fort Monroe National Park became the driving force to establish a new national monument,” said Pam Goddard, NPCA’s Chesapeake and Virginia program manager . “Their vision, years of hard work, personal financial sacrifice, and steadfast refusal to take ‘no’ for an answer resulted in the designation of Fort Monroe National Monument.

The rich history of Fort Monroe is supplemented by a natural landscape that includes miles of beachfront and inland areas perfect for birding and other outdoor recreation. Fort Monroe National Monument protects an important piece of our nation’s heritage while generating jobs and economic activity that will have local and national benefits.

Last November, President Obama used his executive powers under the Antiquities Act to add 324 acres of the peninsula in Hampton, declaring the site a national monument. The first Africans were traded into slavery in 1619 on the Old Point Comfort Peninsula. More than 240 years later, Fort Monroe served as “Freedom’s Fortress” when three enslaved men sought refuge at the Fort, creating a path to freedom for more than 10,000 enslaved people.

“The addition of Fort Monroe to the National Park System provides the opportunity for all Americans to reflect upon and honor the legacy of those who risked all to make the perilous journey from slavery to freedom,” said Goddard. “We must all continue to work together to ensure that our national parks are protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy, especially as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.”

NPCA’s annual Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award was established in 1986 to honor individuals who often must go to great lengths to advocate and fight for the protection of our national parks. Named for Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a life-long advocate for Everglades National Park, the award recognizes the outstanding efforts of an individual or group that result in the protection of a site or proposed site in the National Park System.


About National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA): Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice of the American people in the fight to safeguard our National Park System. NPCA, its more than 600,000 members, supporters, and partners, work together to protect the park system and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for our children and grandchildren. For more information, visit:

National Parks Conservation Association’s Annual Salute to Parks Award Gala to Honor Park Stewards

Date: March 28, 2012
Contact: Alison Zemanski, Media Relations Manager National Parks Conservation Association P:202.384.8762 or


Washington, D.C. –The nation’s leading park advocacy organization, the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), will tonight honor Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Shelton Johnson, National Park Service Ranger at Yosemite National Park, for their outstanding work on behalf of America’s national parks. The event, Salute to the Parks: Protecting America’s Heritage, will take place at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. and its theme is based on the Mather Mountain Party, a camping trip, led by Stephen Mather almost 100 years ago.  Accompanied by conservations, science, media and political figures, Mather discussed his vision for an agency to oversee all of the national parks.  The National Park Service was created one year later, with Stephen Mather as the agency’s first director.

“Tonight we honor two great park national park stewards that provide valuable support for our national parks so that future generations can experience and enjoy these treasured places,” said Tom Kiernan, president for the National Parks Conservation Association. “It is our pleasure to recognize their leadership and tireless passion for protecting and preserving our national parks nationwide.”

This year’s annual dinner draws dignitaries, members of Congress, National Park Service staff, and national park supporters from across the country back to the dinner table, as Mather did nearly 100 years ago, to discuss America’s national parks. Among those include Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) who will receive the Centennial Leadership Award to for his extraordinary commitment to protecting America’s wildlife, public lands, and national parks.  In addition, Shelton Johnson, National Park Service Ranger for Yosemite National Park, will receive the Robin W. Winks Award for Enhancing Public Understanding of National Parks and effectively communicating the values of the National Park System to the American public. Attendees will view an inspiring video by NPCA staff member Amy Marquis about Johnson’s great work at Yosemite titled The Way Home: Returning to the National Parks.  The video features Shelton’s quest to connect diverse audiences to our national parks.

National Council member, and former Board chair for NPCA, Stephen Mather McPherson, will also play a role at this year’s annual gala and will share a quote delivered by his grandfather, Stephen Mather, during the original Mather Mountain Party.

The 2012 Salute to the Parks awards dinner commemorates the preservation and protection of America’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage at America’s national parks. For additional information, please click here:
About NPCA: Since 1919, NPCA has been the leading voice of the American people in protecting and enhancing our National Park System. NPCA, its more than 600,000 members and supporters, and many partners work together to protect the park system and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for generations to come. For more information, please visit:

The Way Home

Returning to the National Parks
By Amy Marquis

“You shouldn’t have to convince people to go to paradise,”
–Shelton Johnson, Ranger, Yosemite National Park

Although our national parks belong to all Americans, it’s a sad fact that very few people of color ever set foot in some of our country’s most beautiful places. Take a journey to Yosemite National Park with the Amazing Grace 50+ Club, a Los Angeles-based senior church group whose members are looking to reverse that trend.

At the emotional heart of the video is an interpretation of the Buffalo Soldier experience by Yosemite Park Ranger Shelton Johnson. Read about some of his challenges portraying this aspect of park history, and his thoughts on why African Americans are the group least likely to have a wilderness experience.

Click here to learn more about efforts to bring more diverse visitors to the parks.

Visit the NPS website to learn more about Buffalo Soldiers in Yosemite