TPL honors conservation leaders and advocates for legislative action during annual 'Day on the Hill' in Washington D.C.; Doris Duke Foundation receives Groundbreaker Award, US Dept. of the Interior recognized with Public Land for Public Good Award

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

WASHINGTON , April 27, 2023 (press release) –

Trust for Public Land Recognizes Caroline Niemczyk, Marie Ridder, the Doris Duke Foundation, and Department of Interior and Leadership of Secretary Deb Haaland for Their Commitment to Conservation and Park Equity  

From April 25th to 26th, Trust for Public Land’s (TPL) staff and volunteers will be in the U.S. Capitol for the annual “Day on the Hill” event, as part of TPL’s 2023 advocacy efforts to increase funding for parks and America’s outdoors.  

During their visit, they will meet with about 100 offices to speak with legislators about the importance of connecting everyone to the outdoors and advocating for the Outdoors for All Act, and working to protect critical funding for parks, trails conservation, and the inclusion of programs that address climate change and environmental justice. 

“Our Day on the Hill event is critical in speaking to our legislative representatives about the importance of investing in parks and green spaces. It’s about connecting everyone to the outdoors, especially communities that have been historically underserved. We’re looking forward to a positive response from our legislators,” said Bill Lee, Senior Vice President of Policy, Advocacy & Government Relations at TPL.  

As part of TPL’s “Day on the Hill” efforts in Washington, D.C., TPL will honor four conservation leaders with awards for their longstanding commitment and lifelong contributions advancing successful policy, advocacy, and conservation efforts that connect everyone to the outdoors.

Conservation leaders, Caroline Niemczyk and Marie Ridder, have been awarded the Trailblazer Award for their commitment to advancing successful policy, advocacy, and conservation funding efforts. Meanwhile, the Doris Duke Foundation has been honored with the Groundbreaker Award for its dedication to equity-driven conservation in the United States. Lastly, TPL proudly honored the Department of the Interior under the leadership of Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland with TPL’s 50th Anniversary Public Land for Public Good Award for Interior’s leadership in championing access to nature for all, centering equity and climate justice, leading the America the Beautiful initiative, and historically strengthening relationships with Tribal Nations. 

Diane Regas, TPL President and CEO, congratulated the award winners and highlighted their passion for advocacy saying, “Your commitment to conservation and connecting everyone to the outdoors, along with your passion for advocacy, has fueled conservation and park equity throughout the country. In TPL’s 50 years of advocacy and conservation work, the leadership shown by these incredible conservation leaders and the Department of Interior under Secretary Haaland is unparalleled. We stand proud and humbled by the opportunity to honor these four exceptional conservation leaders.”

TPL’s legislative work has been instrumental in achieving several accomplishments, including the creation of nearly 5,400 parks, schoolyards, trails, and greenways across the country, and the protection of 4 million acres of land into the public’s hands. TPL led the effort to fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the cornerstone of conservation in America.  TPL has helped pass 645 ballot measures, with an 83 percent success rate, creating $93 billion in voter-approved funding for parks, land conservation, and natural climate solutions.

“We believe that everyone should have access to the benefits of nature, regardless of what zip code they reside in. Our advocacy efforts aim to ensure that everyone has a park or green space within a 10-minute walk of their home – we won’t end our mission until everybody in America has a park within a 10-minute walk,” continued Lee. 

This year, TPL celebrates its 50th anniversary and continues to advocate for the protection of America’s outdoors, parks, and green spaces. TPL hopes to receive support from legislators in their efforts to pass the Outdoors for All Act and to increase funding for parks and green spaces, so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of nature. 


About Trust for Public Land

Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit 


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