In honor of the Coalition’s 20th Anniversary, we are kicking off a new blog series focused on the history and stories of our organization. This is the first installment of Who We Are: Stories of the Coalition.
Nearly 20 years ago, a small group of National Park Service retirees came together to call attention to proposed policies that they believed would do lasting harm to the National Park Service. Retired NPS employees recognized that fear of retribution would prevent current NPS employees from speaking out; however, as retirees, they would be able to speak freely.
Out of those first few actions, the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees was born. In its 20 years its work, the organization’s reach has grown and its name has evolved, but it remains unique. The Coalition offers policy makers and decision makers a perspective from the Voices of Experience.
The foundation of the Coalition is its members. Members are individuals who have worked for the National Park Service (General Schedule, Wage Schedule, Senior Executive Service, Seasonal, or Temporary) or volunteered under a signed volunteer agreement. Included in the Coalition’s members are former NPS directors, regional directors, superintendents, resource specialists, rangers, and maintenance and administrative staff. They reside in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and Canada.
While generous donations from our members help to keep the organization running, there are no required dues to become a member of the Coalition. Member benefits include the Bi-Weekly Coalition Report, social and professional networking opportunities with other members, regular communications from the Executive Council regarding important NPS issues, and potential opportunities to take action in support of our national parks and public lands.
The Coalition also welcomes and thanks supporters. Supporters are companies, organizations, and individuals who have not worked or volunteered with NPS but are just as committed to protecting our national parks. With a financial gift, supporters will receive the Bi-Weekly Report and the Monthly brief.
There exists within the Coalition a place for everyone who loves our parks. We welcome current employees and volunteers who can share insight with what is happening on the ground today. We welcome former employees and retirees whose breadth of experience and knowledge guide our positions as advocates for the National Park System. We welcome anyone who loves our parks and public lands, and seeks ways to protect and preserve these irreplaceable national treasures.