PRESS RELEASE: Kodak, National Geographic, and The Conservation Fund Honor Greenways Champions
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Kodak American Greenways Program recognizes leaders in greenways preservation and provides grants to local projects
WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 19 -- The Kodak American Greenways Program, the nation’s longest running community-based grants program preserving open space, trails and greenways, is marking its 20thanniversary by honoring three individuals and funding 28 local nonprofits and public agencies that are making great strides with greenways.
Since the program’s inception in 1989, more than $800,000 has been granted to nearly 700 organizations in all 50 states. The program is a partnership between Eastman Kodak Company, National Geographic Society and The Conservation Fund.
This year’s individual award recipients are:
Alexie Torres-Fleming, who led the removal of tons of trash from the Bronx River in New York City, including 40 cars and 10,000 tires, creating a healthy waterway and river corridor that inspired youth in the community to connect with nature and take pride in their South Bronx neighborhood.
Rosie Zamora, the driving force behind Houston Wilderness and its effort to bridge the vibrant, lively city with wetlands, forests and rivers, and educate Houston residents on the spectacular environment in their backyards.
Rick Wagner, a 26-year veteran of the National Park Service with 43 years of federal conservation work, who preserved key pieces of the American cultural and natural heritage by spearheading the creation of the State of Idaho Castle Rock State Park and the expansion of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, the Nez Perce National Historic Trail, and the California Trail in the City of Rocks National Reserve.
This year, 28 nonprofits and public agencies received grants, including:
Swain Family Intervention Services, Inc.,forconstruction of signage along trails near Lake Fontana in western North Carolina that protect historic African-American cemeteries.
Pend Oreille River Tourism Alliance, fora water trails webpage that will provide downloadable maps, information and other interactive features for the Pend Oreille River and accompanying trails in Oregon.
Berrien County Health Department, to lay out a “Rail to Trail” greenway around Benton Harbor that will provide new recreational opportunities for county residents.
“Kodak appreciates the value of local community grassroots initiatives in preserving our nation’s great outdoor heritage,” said David Kiser, Kodak Vice President and Director, Health, Safety, Environment and Sustainability. “These local initiatives and individuals recognized in the Kodak American Greenways Awards are visible, valuable and never more vital.”
“Greenways not only improve the nation’s ecological health, these natural corridors provide vital opportunities for all Americans to improve their physical health,” said Gilbert M. Grosvenor, Chairman of the National Geographic Society. “With the help of companies like Kodak, the greenways network has linked city streets to parklands and other open spaces. The program still enjoys robust growth as we celebrate 20 years of cooperation.”
To mark the 20th anniversary of the Kodak American Greenways Program, The Conservation Fund presented Kodak and National Geographic with a special award for their continued leadership and vision in sponsoring this important program.
“Winding through cities, parks and woods, and alongside rivers, lakes and abandoned rail lines, greenways are a vital part of any city’s infrastructure. These pathways preserve wildlife habitat, enhance water quality and provide opportunities for close-to-home outdoor recreation and sustainable economic development,” said Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund. “I thank Kodak and National Geographic for their tremendous dedication to this program for 20 years, and I congratulate the outstanding recipients of this year’s awards and grants. Together we are preserving lifelines that link neighborhoods, parks and people.”
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About The Conservation Fund
The Conservation Fund is dedicated to advancing America’s land and water legacy. With our partners, we conserve land, train leaders and invest in conservation at home. Since 1985, we have helped protect more than 6 million acres, sustaining wild havens, working lands and vibrant communities. We’re a top-ranked conservation organization, effective and efficient. www.conservationfund.org
(First posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at 12:45 EDT)