Rotarians learn about Western National Parks Association

The WNPA store in Oro Valley.

The WNPA store in Oro Valley.

Patti R. Albaugh

Amy Reichgott of the Western National Parks Association (WNPA) spoke to the SaddleBrooke Sunrise Rotary on February 19 at their weekly breakfast meeting. Ms. Reichgott explained how the WNPA, a nonprofit education partner of the National Park Service, supports sixty-seven parks in twelve western states. Since 1938, WNPA has worked to connect new generations to parks with a single goal: create advocates who want to preserve and protect these special places for everyone, for all time.

Through slides and a short video from the Association’s website (, Rotarians learned that WNPA has several purposes: support partner parks and the national park idea, create new gateways to the parks, develop park-focused products and experiences and, more recently, develop philanthropic opportunities.

One of WNPA’s biggest supporters is Ted Danson, actor, author and conservationist. His father, Edward Danson, was an archeologist and anthropologist and he was on the original board of trustees of WNPA. Ted Danson is featured in a video on WNPA’s website in which he explains the rawness and beauty of the American West and the role of WNPA in enhancing people’s experience with the parks.

The WNPA has a center and shop at 12880 N. Vistoso Village Drive in Oro Valley. The shop is filled with Native American handicrafts as well as books, food items and great gifts for those grandkids. As a thank you, WNPA members get discounts at all WNPA partner Park Stores. All purchases help support parks, too.