WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner to the National Park Service, announced that U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) is one of the Foundation’s inaugural National Park Heroes for his extraordinary service and commitment to the betterment of the national parks.
In addition to his leadership on the NPS Centennial Act that was signed into law in 2016, Sen. Portman joins Senators Warner, Alexander, and King in receiving this award for authoring the Restore Our Parks Act, which was signed into law earlier this year.
“As an avid outdoorsman, I’m honored to receive the National Park Foundation’s Hero Award,” Sen. Portman said. “I appreciate the National Park Foundation’s support for our bipartisan efforts to protect and preserve our national park sites, through both the NPS Centennial Act in 2016 and, most recently, through my Restore Our Parks Act, now law. I look forward to continuing to work together as this law begins ensuring that our national parks are maintained and protected so that they can be enjoyed for generations to come.”
“As the National Park Foundation strives to protect and enhance national parks for all people to experience and enjoy, we are gratified to have Sen. Rob Portman as an incredible partner in this work,” said National Park Foundation President and CEO Will Shafroth. “Whether he was leading efforts to tackle park deferred maintenance through the Great American Outdoors Act, enriching philanthropic partnerships through the Centennial Challenge program, or staying up all night to ensure passage of the 2016 National Park Service Centennial Act, Sen. Portman’s tireless commitment to our national parks will benefit these places for generations to come. The Foundation is grateful for Sen. Portman’s service as a National Park Hero and looks forward to his continued stewardship of our most special places.”
Sen. Portman’s bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act was signed into law earlier this year. Portman has pushed this landmark legislation for years to protect and preserve America’s national parks. The bill will support more than 100,000 jobs over the next five years by rebuilding critical park infrastructure to help address the more than $12 billion backlog in long-delayed maintenance projects at the National Park Service. The Restore Our Parks Act is part of a broader package, the Great American Outdoors Act, that addresses the deferred maintenance backlog across federal land management agencies and provides permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Portman, a lifelong outdoorsman and a frequent visitor to Ohio’s national parks, has long been a leader in the U.S. Senate in efforts to protect our national parks. He is the author of the National Park Service Centennial Act, legislation signed into law in 2016 that authorizes the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund and the Second Century Endowment Fund, two public-private partnerships that will help preserve our national parks for generations to come. In 2019, Portman received the Friend of Industry Award from the Outdoor Industry Association and the Distinguished Travel Champion Award from the U.S. Travel Association for his leadership on the Restore Our Parks Act. In 2017, Portman received the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Champion Award for his work on the National Park Service Centennial Act. He has previously received the 2012 NPCA Centennial Award, the 2015 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award, and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Centennial Leader Award.