Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Kathryn Harrington at 202/208-5848

For Immediate Release: Jan. 21, 2004

Take Pride in America Recruits Mayors to Become Stewards of our Public Lands

Mayors to Join Volunteer Service Program Aimed at Keeping America Beautiful



(Washington, DC) - Take Pride in America® calls on all mayors to formally enlist their communities in a nation-wide volunteer effort to protect and enhance our public resources as it kicks off the "Take Pride in America Cities" program at the 2004 Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

With more than 40 governors already members of the bipartisan Council of Governors, Take Pride is expanding its base of partners by reaching out to leadership in cities across the country. Hempstead, N.Y., Mayor James Garner and Miami Mayor Manuel Diaz have already certified their cities participation, and others are expected to heed the call throughout the Conference of Mayors meeting.

"I want to thank Mayor Garner and Mayor Diaz for taking the lead in this effort to have cities join the Take Pride family," said Interior Secretary Gale Norton. "Every community has a stake in preserving our public lands and resources for future generations."

As president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayor Garner echoed Norton's sentiment:
"Protecting our public spaces is one of the most responsible things we can do as American citizens. We encourage communities across this great nation to lend their support to this worthwhile effort to preserve our public treasures."

Cities and towns may designate themselves as Take Pride in America Cities by certifying that the mayor will host or sponsor at least two events per year that support the mission and goals of Take Pride in America:

" Increase awareness in the public of citizen responsibility for stewardship of our public lands, facilities, cultural and historical sites
" Increase volunteerism in the community to protect and maintain our public resources, including schools, parks, streets, beaches, state and federal lands, and cultural or historic sites
" Recognize commendable volunteer projects and individuals

Take Pride in America Cities will in turn receive a certificate confirming their designation as a Take Pride in America City and will be able to use the Take Pride in America logo and service marks at their events.

The city may identify programs they have already begun which meet the Take Pride in America and use them as Take Pride in America events, if the program can be expanded or more opportunities for volunteers are expected to result from additional exposure or publicity generated by the Take Pride in America designation.

Take Pride in America is a national partnership that aims to seek, support and recognize volunteers who work to improve our national parks, forests, grasslands and wildlife refuges, public lands, cultural and historic sites, playgrounds and other recreation areas. With close to 100 partners, Take Pride involves federal, state and local government, conservation, youth and recreation groups, and top national corporations and organizations. Together, we protect and enhance the special legacy all Americans share - our public lands that cover one in every three acres across the nation. Find out more about volunteering and Take Pride in America at



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