Washington, DC (October 3, 2006) Senator Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.) 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, National Geographic Society and The Conservation Fund, the awards program honors leading individuals, organizations and corporations for their commitment to protecting the nations network of open space, trails and greenways. The ceremony also honored the Outside Las Vegas Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Gerald McCarthy of the Virginia Environmental Endowment.
Senator Sarbanes, Marylands longest-serving United States senator, was honored for his legislative support of the Capital Crescent-Georgetown Spur Trail; the C&O Canal National Historic Park; the Beach-to-Bay Indian Trail, Marylands first National Recreation Trail; and the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, which commemorates the War of 1812s Chesapeake campaign.
On behalf of the Kodak American Greenways program, I am particularly pleased to present Senator Paul Sarbanes with an award for outstanding achievement in greenway and open space preservation, said The Conservation Funds president, Larry Selzer. America's greenways, blueways and trails serve as lifelines connecting neighborhoods, parks and people. Thanks to the senators leadership and the support of Eastman Kodak and National Geographic, we are building partnerships that will preserve a network of open space for future generations.
Most recently, Senator Sarbanes has supported legislation to create a national historic trail designating the route of Captain John Smiths exploration of the Chesapeake Bay region, which marked the beginning of a new era of discovery almost 400 years ago.
In his remarks, Sarbanes expressed his deep gratitude to the hundreds and thousands of individuals and organizations who are working everyday to foster the creation of greenways in communities throughout our country.
Working together over the years, we have made important progress not only in putting in place the programs and facilitating the partnerships necessary to protect and establish greenways but in actually creating numerous greenways and greenway corridors in communities all around the country, Sarbanes added. These efforts are helping to preserve our heritage and natural beauty and making our country a better place to live, not only for ourselves but for future generations.
The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Traila partnership project with The Conservation Fund, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, National Geographic Society, National Park Service and state governmentswill be the nations first entirely water-based historic trail. The 3,000 miles Captain Smith explored brought the English into contact with many Native Americans for the first time, and anthropologists, historians and ecologists still rely on his observations of the regions people and its natural wonders.
The Senators support will ensure that the trail will bring history to life for the regions 16 million residents and will provide new opportunities for recreation and heritage tourism for visitors from all over the world in time for Jamestowns 400th anniversary.
Dr. David Kiser, Eastman Kodak Companys vice president of environment, health and safety, 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 families experience natural beauty in their own backyards is one of the most important things we can do for our children 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.
In addition to announcing the awards for outstanding achievement, the group presented 45 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 600 groups across the nation.
Greenways are Americas 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.
The Conservation Fund
The Conservation Fund is the nations foremost environmental nonprofit dedicated to protecting Americas 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 5.4 million acres nationwide. With 1 percent fundraising costs and 96 percent program allocation, The Conservation Fund is recognized as the nations top rated environmental nonprofit by both the American Institute of Philanthropy and Charity Navigator. http://www.conservationfund.org