Trail Advocacy

This award is given in recognition of successful efforts to influence public policy relating to trail planning, trail protection, trail development, or maintenance.


Iowa: Mark Ackelson

Mark has served as President of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation since 1994.

Mark is a skilled administrator, fundraiser, and negotiator with a proven record of results in the efforts to protect important natural, wildlife, recreational and cultural resource lands in Iowa.

He is well respected by his professional peers and conservation leaders around the nation. Thanks to Mark's efforts, this organization has helped protect more than 85,000 acres of prairies, wetlands, woodlands, watersheds and trail corridors. This work has involved the creation and use of innovative funding and partnerships. Mark has led in the completion of eight trails in Iowa and the near completion of three additional trails.