WASHINGTON – Today, the Senate passed the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contains the language of the National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act. The defense bill is now headed to President Obama’s desk for his signature.
The coin bill would authorize the minting of commemorative coins in celebration of the Centennial of the National Park Service in 2016. Proceeds from this commemorative coin program will go to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to directly fund projects and programs that help preserve and protect resources under the stewardship of the National Park Service.
“Our Congressional champions were tireless in their advocacy and efforts to see this bill across the finish line,” said Dan Wenk, president of the National Park Foundation. “Senator Mark Warner, Senator Mike Enzi, Representative Erik Paulsen, and Representative Marcy Kaptur have our deepest gratitude for their leadership.”
Earlier this year, the bipartisan coin legislation passed the House of Representatives with more than 400 votes, but was held up in the Senate despite garnering the support of 75 senators.
The public lands component of NDAA would also create six new national park sites: Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park in Rhode Island and Massachusetts; Coltsville National Historical Park in Connecticut; Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Maryland; Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Washington, Tennessee, and New Mexico; Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico; and Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument in Nevada. The National Park Foundation looks forward to working with National Park Service staff and local community partners, including Friends Groups, at each new park.
The centerpiece of the National Park Service’s 2016 Centennial will be a broad public engagement campaign to reintroduce the national parks and the work of the National Park Service to a new generation of Americans, inviting them to visit and get involved. The two-year effort will begin in 2015 and will run throughout the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary year in 2016. Plans for the campaign, entitled Find Your Park, are underway in collaboration with the National Park Foundation.
For more information about National Park Foundation projects and programs, please visit the National Park Foundation website.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org