U.S. Department of the Interior
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November 28, 2008
Contacts: Ron Tull (202) 208-5089
Katie Loovis (202) 213-9765

Take Pride in America® Celebrates 18th Congressional Anniversary

Strengthening Stewardship from Sea to Shining Sea

Washington, D.C. – Washington, D.C. – Today marks the 18th anniversary of Congress signing into law the Take Pride in America Program. On November 28, 1990, the 101st Congress established Take Pride in America to promote the appreciation and stewardship of public lands.

One of the co-sponsors who served then and now, stopped to reflect on the bill’s success. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, then a first-term Senator from Nevada, said "This fine program engages people in important service in creative and meaningful ways. Nearly two decades have passed since I first co-sponsored the legislation creating Take Pride in America, and I couldn't have imagined greater success from its efforts. I look forward to many more years of stewardship created by this program to help the next generation to enjoy our lands as we have."

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne recently signed an order committing the department to continue administering the program through the year 2010.

“During my tenure as Interior Secretary, I’ve been impressed and inspired by the people of all ages who come forward to volunteer. I’m especially proud of the program’s outreach to our nation’s youth,” Kempthorne said.

In 2008, Take Pride in America established liaisons in all fifty states; completed a 7,000 mile, Toyota-sponsored, Voluntour Across America; partnered with Travelocity to offer grants to voluntourists; grew the Take Pride in America Schools Program by 20 percent; and honored more than 700 volunteers who contributed 1.3 million hours to improving our public lands.

“Take Pride in America has solid public-private partnerships with organizations such as Keep America Beautiful, Campfire USA, and Toyota. These partnerships have enabled Take Pride in America to engage more Americans in meaningful service on our shared lands, and have resulted in a more clean and green America,” said Katie Loovis, Executive Director of Take Pride in America.

Congress set forth Take Pride in America® as a national partnership program to promote the appreciation and stewardship of public lands, including parks, forests, historic sites, and schools. Take Pride in America is active in all fifty states, has partnerships with public, private, and nonprofit organizations, and features Clint Eastwood as national spokesman. Citizen stewards know and count on Take Pride in America for the most comprehensive online portal of public lands volunteer opportunities ( www.TakePride.gov ) and for showcasing the most outstanding public lands stewardship activities through the annual national award ceremony.

Loovis recently took to the airwaves to discuss Take Pride in America’s banner year. She was interviewed on Federal News Radio’s The Daily Debrief, hosted by Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris. To listen to the interview, visit http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?sid=1518135&nid=250 .

— DOI —