St. Patrick's Day in St Louis

We won! I’m pleased to announce that our Association received first prizes in the APPL Partnership Awards for our Outdoor Adventure and Cooperative Work Week Programs. Two other YA projects were awarded honorable mention: the publication A Trip To Yosemite, and its 80th Anniversary Commemorative Project.

Our staff journeyed to St. Louis for the annual convention hosted by the Association of Partners for Public Lands, a consortium of non-profits that support public land agencies in the United States. The annual convention provided valuable training and networking opportunities, as well as recognition through the awards program. Held at a different location every year, the conference also gives participants an opportunity to see the diverse resources our public lands offer. This year we explored the theme of westward expansion so magnificently captured in the Arch.

The Arch is truly something to behold, and I was prepared to not be impressed. At a mere 630 feet, its reach pales in comparison to the granite cliffs of Yosemite. However, one cannot be immune to the simple beauty of the structure and its perfect symbolism of the westward exploration. As I lay on the grass under the monument and gazed directly upward, the arc of the curve reached into the sky. I thought of Lewis and Clark, and their grand vision as they stepped into the unknown wilderness of the west.