Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award


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Senator Rob Portman (Ohio)

wydenWashington, D.C. (March 17, 2015) – National Park Trust (NPT) is very pleased to announce that Ohio Senator Rob Portman will receive the 2015 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award. The award will be presented to the Senator at a reception at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on June 16, 2015. Senator Portman serves on the Finance Committee, is chairman of the Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth; the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and is chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks; the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; as well as on the Budget Committee.

"America's national parks are a cherished resource, and I am proud to receive this award," Portman said. "We're fortunate to have many national parks in Ohio with wonderful park programs, and I look forward to continuing my work to protect and maintain them."

NPT will recognize Senator Portman for his outstanding record as an advocate for our national parks. His numerous accomplishments include his work as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush, which was instrumental in creating the president's signature National Parks Centennial Initiative, his long term efforts to address high priority issues that face our national parks including the backlog of deferred maintenance projects, and his passionate support of one of the most highly visited national parks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Furthermore, Senator Portman's introduction of the Senate Resolution, along with Senator Mark Udall and Senator Ron Wyden, proclaiming May 17, 2014 as Kids to Parks Day played an important role in the record increase in participation in the event nationwide.

According to NPT Board Chair Bill Brownell, "Senator Portman's work in Washington, D.C. and at home in Ohio, demonstrates his continued commitment to legislation and other actions that will not only preserve our nation's parks today, but also ensure their continued enjoyment by future generations. By ensuring that public lands are protected and available for use by everyone, regardless of their age, ethnicity or income level, Senator Portman is helping to create the next generation of conservationists and improve the lives of countless children and their families."

More About the Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award

The Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award is given annually to a public servant who has demonstrated a lifetime of outstanding service, skill, resourcefulness or innovation in the preservation of land, water or historic resources for the legacy of America.

In 2000, National Park Trust established the Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award to honor the memory and legacy of Bruce Vento, a 12-term Member of Congress from Minnesota and former Chair of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. During his tenure, Congressman Vento passed more park legislation than any other previous chairman. Congressman Vento died on October 10, 2000 at the age of 60.

Each recipient of the Vento Award has expanded the nation's understanding of what it means to have a lifelong legacy and commitment to protecting America's heritage.

Past award recipient, Congressman John Lewis stated in his 2004 address, "Bruce Vento was a good man. He was an environmental stalwart – a Member who stood second to no one when it came to protecting our environment, strengthening our parks, and preserving our national heritage. He was the environmental conscience of the House, and he continues to inspire Members of Congress – and people throughout the country – who are fighting to make our nation a little cleaner and a little greener for our children and generations yet unborn."

At a 2000 dinner tribute to Vento, former President Bill Clinton said, "He has steered into law more than 300 bills to protect our natural resources." Fellow Minnesotan and former Vice-President Walter Mondale stated, "I think Bruce Vento has been one of the most impressive and effective congressman in modern Minnesota history. It's hard to think of an environmental issue where his leadership has not been found."

Born on October 7, 1940 in St. Paul, Vento attended the University of Minnesota and Wisconsin State University. He worked as a science and social studies teacher before his election to the state House in 1970. He was elected to his first term in Congress in 1976.

Past Recipients