2022 Public Lands Alliance Partnership Awards Virtual Celebration Recognizes Excellence in Public Lands Partnerships

By Public Lands Alliance Staff posted 04-21-2022 02:15 PM



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) has announced the recipients of its 2022 Partnership Awards that celebrate the best in public lands partnerships. These awards honor individuals, organizations, publications, products, programs and services that embody leading edge achievements in the preservation of public lands and the enrichment the visitor experience.

The 2022 award winners were announced on Wednesday, April 20 in a virtual celebration. The awards program is sponsored by Impact Photographics.

A total of 17 awards were presented to individuals, organizations and companies in six categories:

  • Public Lands Partner

  • Corporate Stewardship

  • Agency Leadership

  • Innovative Product of the Year

  • Outstanding Public Engagement of the Year

  • Publication of the Year

"Despite facing continued challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, our community has persevered,” said Dan Puskar, President and CEO of PLA. “Together, we have done incredible things.”

Here is a complete list of the 2022 Partnership Award winners: (Photos available upon request)

Public Lands Partner Award

The Public Lands Partner Award recognizes an exemplary partnership for its stunning achievements to protect and preserve public lands and enhance the experiences of visitors. The award is presented to both the nonprofit organization and its agency partner for their shared achievements.

The following organizations and their agency partners received the 2021 Public Lands Partner Award:

  • Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation & Blue Ridge Parkway

  • National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance & USDA Forest Service

  • Anza-Borrego Foundation & Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

  • Central Colorado Mountain Riders, San Isabel National Forest & the Bureau of Land Management

  • Friends of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge & Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge

Corporate Stewardship Award

The Corporate Stewardship Award recognizes a company that has demonstrated exceptional achievement to enhance the quality of the visitor experience in America's public lands.

The following companies received the Corporate Stewardship Award on behalf of their philanthropic and partnership efforts with public lands nonprofits:

  • Zion Cycles, for their partnership with Zion National Park Forever Project

  • National Park Geek

Agency Leadership Award

The Agency Leadership Award recognizes a land management agency employee for outstanding accomplishments in championing, cultivating and leading a partnership.

These individuals were presented with the Agency Leadership Award:

  • Victoria Mates, Chief of Interpretation and Partnerships with Grand Teton National Park, National Park Service (partnership with Grand Teton Association)

  • Leslie Brandt, Climate Change Specialist with the USDA Forest Service (partnership with Mississippi Park Connection)

  • Abby Jones, Natural Resources Specialist, Innovations Co-Team Lead with the U.S. Army Corps (partnership with Southwestern Oklahoma State University)

  • Kevin Painter, Regional Interpretive and Education Specialist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (partnership with Alaska Geographic)

Innovative Product Award

The innovative product award recognizes an interpretive product of any medium created in partnership by a nonprofit organization and land management agency that embodies a path-breaking approach to achieve a public lands mission.

Award Winner:

  • Hawai'i Pacific Parks Association for “All Park Mandala Insulated Bottle"

Outstanding Public Engagement Award: Product or Display and Program or Service

The Outstanding Public Engagement Award recognizes exemplary products, displays, programs or services created in partnership by a nonprofit organization and public lands that advance meaningful and sustainable connections between individuals and America's public lands.

Product or Display Award Winner:

  • Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy for “The Big Lockup: Mass Incarceration in the United States"

Program or Service Award Winner:

  • Great Smoky Mountains Association for “Storybook Trail of the Smokies"

Publication of the Year

The Publication of the Year Award recognizes a book or other publication created in partnership by a nonprofit organization and a public land that embodies innovation in educating and interpreting public lands to its readers, and impacts a substantial audience. Each year an award is granted to both an organization with annual gross revenues above and below $1.5 million.


Award Winners (organizations with gross revenue below $1.5 million):

  • Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association for Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese-Americans

  • Booth Society for Let's Feed the Fish - Meet Me at the D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery

Award Winner (organization with gross revenue above $1.5 million):

  • Great Smoky Mountains Association for A Search for Safe Passage

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions were also presented in some categories to the following recipients:

    • Harpers Ferry Association for “Trails Less Traveled: 50th Anniversary Hiking Series” (Outstanding Public Engagement: Program or Service)

    • Outer Banks Forever for “Adopt a Sea Turtle Nest” (Outstanding Public Engagement: Program or Service)

    • Theodore Roosevelt Nature and History Association for “Theodore Roosevelt National Park Nature Display” (Outstanding Public Engagement: Product or Display) and Do You Roam? (Publication of the Year - Gross Revenue Under $1.5 Million)

    • Yosemite Conservancy for “Junior Ranger Handbook and Adapted Activities Guide” (Publication of the Year - Gross Revenue over $1.5 Million)

For additional details on the individual award recipients, contact the Public Lands Alliance.


About the Public Lands Alliance

The Public Lands Alliance is a network of more than 160 member organizations that serve more than 650 public lands and contribute over $250 million dollars annually to the preservation and visitor enhancement of those lands. PLA members are found in all states and territories and provide operational and interpretive support to nonprofit organizations and their land management agency partners.