News and Announcements Archive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 6, 2010


Posted: 4/5/2010

UDALL FOUNDATION BEGINS A PILOT PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TO EXPAND THE STEWART L. UDALL PARKS IN FOCUS PROGRAM

In 2010, the Udall Foundation and the National Park Service will begin a pilot partnership to expand the Udall Foundation’s Stewart L. Udall Parks in Focus Program to include components of the National Trails System.

Since 1999, Parks in Focus has been creating the new generation of public stewards by connecting underserved youth to nature through the art of photography. With the help of trained Udall Scholarship alumni leaders, the Udall Foundation organizes week-long trips to introduce members of local Boys & Girls Clubs, many of whom have never before left their communities, to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the country. The Udall Foundation provides digital cameras to the young participants to use and keep and teaches the basics of photography, ecology, and conservation while exploring national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands.

Under this new pilot partnership, the Udall Foundation and the National Park Service will work together to increase the number of underserved youth reached by Parks in Focus, and also increase awareness of both the parks visited and the components of the National Trails System that run through, around, and between these park areas. This will be accomplished through collaborations with trail organizations, real time spent on the trails hearing from interpreters, and the publication and use of images taken by youth participants and of youth participants.

In 2010, the Udall Foundation and National Park Service will launch the partnership by focusing on three areas, with the hopes of additional Parks in Focus trips in 2011. The areas are:

  • Arizona (Arizona National Scenic Trail)
  • California (Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail)
  • Michigan (North Country National Scenic Trail)

The Udall Foundation was created in 1992 initially to honor the legacy of the late Morris Udall, who represented Southern Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years. Stewart Udall, who also represented Southern Arizona in Congress from 1955 to 1961, is Morris Udall’s older brother.

The two brothers were leaders in many policy areas, including natural resources and the environment and Native American issues. They worked together on many initiatives while Stewart Udall was Secretary of the Interior and Morris Udall a member of Congress. During his tenure as Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall oversaw the addition of four parks, six national monuments, eight seashores and lakeshores, nine recreation areas, 20 historic sites and 56 wildlife refuges to the National Park system. In 2009, Congress enacted legislation to add Stewart Udall into the foundation, renaming it the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation.

On November 13, 2009, the Foundation dedicated its Parks in Focus Program to Stewart Udall; it is now formally known as the Stewart L. Udall Parks in Focus Program.

The Parks in Focus Program began in Tucson with the Tucson Boys & Girls Clubs and often uses the Grand Canyon National Park as the setting for Parks in Focus trips. The Foundation has since expanded and now supports programs with Boys & Girls Clubs in Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, and Washington with plans to include more states, more parks, and more participants in the near future. Since the program’s inception, approximately 300 youth have completed the Parks in Focus Program.

The National Trails System was created in 1968, with strong involvement by then Secretary of the Interior Stewart L. Udall. Today this system of trails touches all 50 states and totals well over 65,000 miles in total trail lengths. More than 80 National Park Service areas lie along or are crossed by components of the Trails System.

For additional information about Parks in Focus, please visit http://pif/udall.gov or http://pif.udall.gov/video.asp. For additional information about the National Trails System, visit www.npa.gov/nts.

For additional information about this news release, contact Libby Washburn at 651.343.4660 or washburn@udall.gov.


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