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Partnership for the National Trails System receives Kodak American Greenways Award

Leaders Recognized at Kodak American Greenways Awards sponsored by Eastman Kodak Company, National Geographic Society and The Conservation Fund

September 15, 2008

The Partnership for the National Trails System was one of four honorees to receive national recognition for outstanding achievement in greenways preservation at the Kodak American Greenways Awards today at the National Geographic Society. Sponsored by Eastman Kodak Company, National Geographic Society and The Conservation Fund, the awards program honors leading individuals, organizations and corporations for their vision and commitment to protecting the nation's network of open space, trails and greenways. The ceremony also honored the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Chicago Wilderness and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

The Partnership was honored for its strong voice in advocating for the National Trails System, a vibrant system of trails that connects people, landscapes, cultures and histories across the country. Established 40 years ago, the National Trails System consists of 50,000 miles of congressionally authorized National Scenic and Historic Trails and more than 11,000 miles of federal designated National Recreation Trails. The system also connects hundreds of state parks, 60 national parks, 125 forest units, 75 national wildlife refuges and dozens of resource areas across the nation. Multiple federal agencies as well as state and local agencies are involved in the management and the maintenance of the system.

For more than 15 years, the Partnership has given the country a greenways and trails legacy for the ages by strengthening the ability of public and private partners to enhance the development, maintenance, management and protection of the National Trails System, and promoting the appropriate use of the National Trails System for the education and appreciation of all.

"On behalf of the Kodak American Greenways program, I am particularly pleased to present the Partnership for the National Trails System with an award for outstanding achievement in greenway and open space preservation," said The Conservation Fund's president and CEO, Larry Selzer. "America's greenways and trails serve as lifelines connecting neighborhoods, parks and people. Thanks to the Partnership's leadership and the support of Eastman Kodak Company and National Geographic, we are building partnerships that will preserve a network of open space for future generations."

Dr. David Kiser, Eastman Kodak Company's vice president and director of health, safety and environment, joined Selzer to present the awards at the ceremony.

We are extremely pleased to be a part of the American Greenways Program," said Kiser. "Helping people experience natural beauty in their own backyards is one of the most important things we can do for our communities and for generations to come."

Following stream corridors, abandoned rail lines, canals or other linear landscape features, greenways preserve wildlife habitat, enhance water quality and provide opportunities for close-to-home outdoor recreation and sustainable economic development.

"The leaders of the Partnership for the National Trails System are deeply honored to receive the prestigious Kodak Greenways National Award and remain dedicated to doing our part to help provide all Americans with access to 'greenways across America' by completing the National Trails System," said Gary Werner, executive director of the Partnership for the National Trails System. "Forty years into the effort to criss-cross America with national scenic, historic and recreation trails we have made great progress, but still there is much joyful work to do to realize the full dream of a truly national trails system. Recognition of this effort by the Kodak Greenways Award will help us come closer to finishing the task!"

In addition to announcing the awards for outstanding achievement, the group presented 29 community organizations with small grants of up to $2,500 to help develop new action-oriented greenway projects. Since 1992, the Kodak American Greenways Program, administered by The Conservation Fund, has supported nearly 650 groups across the nation.

"Greenways are America's parks for the 21st century," said Gilbert M. Grosvenor, chairman of the National Geographic Society. "With the help of companies like Kodak, a growing network is linking our city streets to parklands and other open spaces in ways that encourage us to get out of our cars and into the landscape. Publicly or privately owned, greenways represent a grand design for creating a new green infrastructure for America."

About the Partnership for the National Trails System
The Partnership for the National Trails System is a tax-exempt, non-profit federation of 30 non-profit organizations that work in direct partnership with Federal and state agencies to help sustain and manage the 26 national scenic and historic trails. The Partnership exists to foster information exchange among the trail organizations, to provide skill-building training for volunteers and staff, to coordinate their public policy advocacy, and to advise Federal agency managers about issues relating to the National Trails System. http://www.nationaltrailspartnership.org

About The Conservation Fund
The Conservation Fund is the nation's foremost environmental nonprofit dedicated to protecting America's land and water legacy for current and future generations. Seeking innovative conservation solutions for the 21st century, the Fund works to integrate economic and environmental goals. Since its founding in 1985, the Fund has helped its partners safeguard wildlife habitat, working landscapes, community "greenspace" and historic sites totaling more than 6 million acres. With 1% fundraising costs and 97% program allocation, The Conservation Fund is recognized as the nation's top-rated environmental nonprofit by both the American Institute of Philanthropy and Charity Navigator. http://www.conservationfund.org

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