Washington, DC (June 23, 2022) – Last night, National Park Trust honored Congressman Fred Upton with the 22nd Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award in Washington, DC. This national award honors a public servant for his or her commitment to the environment, and their service, skill, and innovation in support of our public lands and waters.

“Having grown up on the shores of Lake Michigan, Congressman Upton has dedicated his life to the families of Southwest Michigan. Throughout his decades of public service, he also has been a strong advocate for co-sponsoring landmark policies that protect our natural resources, public lands, and waters both locally and nationally.”

Bill Brownell, chair, National Park Trust Board of Trustees

Upton serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee and was the chair from 2010-2016. He is currently the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Energy and serves on the Subcommittee on Health and the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce.

In addition, he is well known for his bipartisan work in the House, where he serves on the Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus and the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.

Notable accomplishments include the co-sponsorship of the National Heritage Area Act, Great American Outdoors Act, Tongass Timber Reform Act, Automobile National Heritage Act, and Forage Fish Conservation Act, as well as the authorization of the construction of the World War II Memorial.

Throughout his 35-year career, Upton has shown a special interest in protecting public waters co-sponsoring the Microbead-Free Waters Act, advocating for resources for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and supporting the Great Lakes Task Force.

Sue Vento, Advisory Board (left), Congressman Fred Upton (middle), and Bill Brownell, Board Chair (right) presenting the award

“I am incredibly honored to accept the Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award. With the pandemic, people in record numbers turned to the great outdoors for recreation and comfort. We all gained a deeper appreciation for nature and the well-being it inspires. Whether it’s keeping our water free of toxic chemicals, ensuring funding for parks, or protecting our Great Lakes, these are all important endeavors. We truly have a national treasure right in our backyard, and it is the duty of every Michigander to protect and invest in our lakes. Thank you for selecting me for this award and I look forward to preserving our national and state environments for generations to come.”

Congressman Fred Upton

National Park Trust established the Vento Award in 2001 to honor the memory and legacy of Bruce F. Vento, a twelve-term Congressman from Minnesota, dedicated environmentalist, and a champion of legislation for America’s parks.

Past recipients include:

  • Sen. Patty Murray (WA)
  • Sen. Maize Hirono (HI)
  • Sen. Richard Burr (NC)
  • Sen. Martin Heinrich (NM)
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN)
  • Rep. Betty McCollum (MN)
  • Sen. Rob Portman (OH)
  • Sen. Ron Wyden (OR)
  • Rep. Mike Simpson (ID)
  • Sen. Jeff Bingaman (NM)
  • Sen. Susan Collins (ME)
  • Sen. Mark Udall (CO)
  • Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA)
  • Sen. Harry Reid (NV)
  • Rep. George Miller (CA)
  • Sen. John McCain (AZ)
  • Sen. Bob Graham (FL)
  • Rep. John Lewis (GA)
  • Rep. Connie Morella (MD)
  • Rep. John Seiberling (OH)
  • Lt. Gov. Lowell Thomas, Jr (AK)

All proceeds from the Vento Award event benefit the Park Trust’s mission and programs.


National Park Trust is a non-profit dedicated to the protection of our national parks. The Park Trust preserves parks today and creates park stewards for tomorrow by acquiring the missing pieces of our national parks National Park Trust’s mission is to preserve parks today and create park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, the Park Trust has acquired the missing pieces of our national parks, benefiting 51 national park sites. Our national youth education initiatives, including our national Buddy Bison Programs and Kids to Parks Day, cultivate future park stewards, partnering annually with more than 300 Title I schools. 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

Media Contact: Ivan Levin at 540.818.5818 or