News and Announcements

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - NOVEMBER 13, 2009


Posted: 11/16/2009

The Udall Foundation has dedicated its Parks in Focus program to Stewart L. Udall, it was announced Friday, November 13, 2009, in recognition of his commitment to conservation and national parks. The program will be known as the Stewart L. Udall Parks in Focus Program. During his tenure as Secretary of the Interior, he oversaw the addition of four parks, six national monuments, eight seashores and lakeshores, nine recreation areas, 20 historic sites and 56 wildlife refuges to the National Park system.

The formal announcement of the program name change was made by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) at an event honoring Stewart Udall and celebrating the renaming of the federal agency to the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation.

Since 1999, Parks in Focus has been connecting underserved youth to nature through the art of photography. With the help of trained Udall Scholarship alumni leaders, the Udall Foundation organizes week-long trips to introduce members of local Boys & Girls Clubs, many of whom have never before left their communities, to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the country. The Foundation provides digital cameras to the young participants to use and keep and teaches the basics of photography, ecology, and conservation while exploring national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands.

The Udall Foundation was created in 1992 initially to honor the legacy of the late Morris Udall, who represented Southern Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years. Stewart Udall, who also represented Southern Arizona in Congress from 1955 to 1961, is Morris Udall’s older brother. The two brothers were leaders in many policy areas, including natural resources and the environment and Native American issues. They worked together on many initiatives while Stewart Udall was Secretary of the Interior and Morris Udall a member of Congress. In 2009, Congress enacted legislation to add Stewart Udall into the foundation, renaming it the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation.

The Udall Foundation carries on their legacy through a number of programs, among them, education programs designed to foster a passion and commitment for the nation's natural resources in the next generation. Parks in Focus is one such program; it speaks directly to the first objective of the Foundation's enabling legislation: "To increase the awareness of the importance of, and promote the benefit and enjoyment of, the nation's natural resources." The program began in Tucson with the Tucson Boys & Girls Clubs and often uses the Grand Canyon National Park as the setting for Parks in Focus trips.

The Foundation has since expanded and now supports programs with Boys & Girls Clubs in Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, and Washington with plans to include more states, more parks, and more participants in the near future. Since the program's inception, approximately 200 youth have completed the Parks in Focus program.

For additional information, contact Libby Washburn at 651.343.4660 or washburn@udall.gov.


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