Washington, D.C. (April 13, 2023) – National Park Trust is pleased to announce that the Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jimmy Chin will receive the 2023 American Park Experience (APEX) Award. Since 2009, this national award has honored an individual or group that has made extraordinary efforts to enhance the awareness and appreciation of our nation’s public parks, lands, and waters.

The 2023 APEX award recognizes the impact Chin’s filmmaking has had on minority communities by reaching and encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to explore our nation’s parks. In his multiple careers as an athlete, storyteller, and artist, he has broken barriers, reached new audiences, and demonstrated his commitment to conservation advocacy. Chin is a professional mountain athlete, National Geographic photographer, award-winning film director, New York Times Best Selling author, and one of the most celebrated explorers of his generation.

“The Board of Trustees is thrilled to recognize Jimmy Chin with the American Park Experience Award. Jimmy’s extraordinary films have brought the awe and majesty of our national parks to so many people — especially those in underserved communities that often struggle to access public lands. He’s inspired so many people to get outdoors, and this has helped the National Park Trust in its mission to create new national park opportunities for everyone.”

National Park Trust board chair Scott Stone

Working with partners worldwide, as well as his renowned filmmaker wife, Chai Vasarhelyi, he leads the conversation on inclusivity in the outdoor field. Growing up as one of just a few Asian families in his Minnesota hometown, Chin struggled to fit in until he found his passion: rock climbing. He has dedicated his career to introducing meaningful change and welcoming minorities who have been historically excluded from outdoor recreation through powerful storytelling.

Chin is universally recognized for using videography to help his audience emotionally connect to the environment, and his most recent project is no exception. His new documentary film WILD LIFE, hitting select theaters on April 14th and premiering on Disney+ May 26th, tells the story of Kris and Doug Tompkins and their decades-long struggle to turn Chilean and Argentine wilderness into national parks. After successfully pioneering some of their generation’s most influential outdoor brands, such as Patagonia and North Face, the couple turned their passion to preserving one of the last truly wild places in the world through history’s largest private land donation. Like the main characters in the film, Chin understands that people will always protect what they love, so now he brings the untouched wilderness to audiences worldwide.

“I’m honored to receive this award as our nation’s parks have always been a source of inspiration for me. They’ve also been a place of wonder and potential. Humans have an innate need to explore, and the parks provide the exact backdrop for that. This award’s recognition means the world – as it’s been the Park Trust’s, and part of my life’s mission, to continue preserving our parks and encouraging inclusivity for future explorers so they too can feel its power.”

Jimmy CHin

Past recipients of the American Park Experience Award include Park Ranger Shelton Johnson; Hydro Flask for their Parks for All program; former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell; former U.S. Secretary of the Interior and U.S. Senator and current U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar; and filmmaker Ken Burns and screenwriter Dayton Duncan.

WILD LIFE opens exclusively in theaters beginning April 14. For more information and tickets, visit

Jimmy was awarded the 2023 American Park Experience Award on April 14th, 2023 after a Washington D.C. screening of WILD LIFE.


Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2023, National Park Trust’s mission is to preserve parks today and create park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, the Park Trust has acquired many of the missing pieces of our national parks, benefiting 52 national park sites. Our national youth education and family initiatives, including our Buddy Bison Programs and National Kids to Parks Day, serve hundreds of Title I schools annually and cultivate future park stewards. We believe that our public parks, lands, and waters should be cared for, enjoyed by, and preserved by all for current and future generations. Find out more at

To learn more about the American Park Experience Award, please visit


Ivan Levin at 540.818.5818 or

Pictures from the April 14th APEX Award presentation event and WLD LIFE screening:

Banner Photo Credit: MasterClass