National Park Week advocates gather at nation’s capital (includes video story)

National Park Week begins April 20 and grants visitors free entry to those greatest of public spaces across the country. 

Advocates met with members of Congress yesterday to vocalize their requests for the upcoming year. The day kicked off with all the participants, ranging from the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) to partners and volunteers from across the country, gathering for breakfast. 

Opening remarks from former Illinois Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL-13) and New Mexico representative Melanie Stansbury (D-NM-1) highlighted the bipartisan nature of the gathering.

After breakfast, the Florida team set out to speak with several of its state representatives. On that list were Mario Diaz-Balart, Darren Soto, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Maxwell Alejandro Frost, and Maria Elvira Salazar. One meeting included Sen. Marco Rubio.

“I think that the senator’s team did show his support,”  said NPCA senior Everglades restoration program manager Cara Capp. “But really, where we were shining was in our discussions about Everglades restoration. We have Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve in South Florida, all benefiting from our efforts to restore the Everglades.”

Sophia Bolivar is a senior at FIU majoring in digital journalism and focusing her studies on criminal justice. Sharing a love for both writing and photography has led her to pursue a career in journalism.