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Legacy of Making a Difference

Nature Corps celebrates 25 years and their special tie to Sunset Magazine

San Luis Obispo, CA – (September 2012) -­ This weekend’s Savor the Central Coast is set to be a world-­‐class food and wine event, the third in the series of the partnership between Sunset Magazine and San Luis Obispo County.

For one very special San Luis Obispo County local and the organization that he leads, this year’s event and its partnership with Sunset Magazine marks a very special milestone-­‐ the 25th anniversary of Nature Corps.

In 1986 US Ambassador and Publisher of Sunset Magazine Bill Lane encouraged President Ronald Reagan to put together a presidential commission to address his growing concern for the state of our national parks and other public lands.

The President assigned the commission to develop recommendations regarding a number of issues including the growing usage of public lands, lack of funding to maintain and preserve them as well as weakening foreign traveler visits to the parks. The findings of that commission were published in a monthly Sunset Magazine column known as the “Window to the West” on the last page which first appeared in the April 1987 edition.

At that time, Mark Landon was working as director of development for the American Cancer Society in Los Angeles. He had come home for lunch one day to find a brand new issue of Sunset Magazine in the mail. After reading the article on the commission’s recommendations that “… Americans must begin to serve as stewards of our public lands”, Landon committed to take their recommendation to heart. Several days later, he approached his local high school to recruit a group of students to volunteer at Yosemite National Park.

After a great trip packed with hard work and beautiful vistas, Landon realized that the program had longevity. Everyone benefited from the parks to the participants.

As a result of US Ambassador Lane’s many years of generous support, many corporate and private donations, and Landon’s vision and dedication, the Nature Corps is celebrating 25 years.

Those 25 years have been packed full of thousands of volunteers who have collectively made many lasting contributions to preserve our state and national parks.

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