The Public Lands Alliance Recognizes Nonprofits, Companies and Land Management Agency Staff at the 2023 Partnership Awards

By Public Lands Alliance Staff posted 04-28-2023 11:21 AM



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) has announced the recipients of its 2023 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 2023 award winners were announced on Wednesday, April 27 in a virtual celebration. The awards program is sponsored by Impact Photographics.

A total of 18 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

"The nominations we receive for the Partnership Awards become more impressive every year, and you see that reflected in our awardees,” said Dan Puskar, President and CEO of PLA. “The impacts made by these individuals and organizations showcase incredible talent and extraordinary passion found throughout the public lands community.”

Here is a complete list of the 2023 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 2023 Public Lands Partner Award:

  • Georgetown Heritage & Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park 

  • Carolina Mountain Club & Pisgah, Nantahala, and Cherokee National Forests

  • Friends of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge & the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

  • Friends for the Youghiogheny River lake & U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District 

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

  • Yamaha Motor Corp., for the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative

Agency Leadership Award

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

The following individual was presented with the Agency Leadership Award:

  • Monique VanLandingham, National Park Service 

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:

  • Eastern National for “Adopt-a-Puerto Rican Parrot Plush / Adopt una Cotorra Puertorriquena"

  • Pacific Historic Parks for “Skies Over Pearl" and "Air Raid Pearl Harbor" Virtual Reality Experiences

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.

Program or Service Award Winners:

  • Discover Your Northwest for “The Fish Ladder Viewing Gallery Renovation and Ballard Locks Salmon Legacy Wall"

  • Public Lands Interpretive Association for “Caver Quest Academy Program" 

Product or Display Award Winner:

  • Great Smoky Mountains Association for “Sepia Tones: Exploring Black Appalachian Music"

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):

  • Theodore Roosevelt Nature & History Association for Theodore Roosevelt and the Dakota Badlands

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

  • Black Hills and Forests Association for Jewel Cave No End in Sight
  • Alaska Geographic for Canoeing Yaghanen

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.