National Park Service Director Mary Bomar Presents George B. Hartzog Lecture at Clemson University

National Park Service Director Mary Bomar. NPS photo.

National Park Service Director Mary Bomar will present the annual George B. Hartzog, Jr. Environmental Lecture at Clemson University on Wednesday, October 8. Director Bomar’s lecture, “People, Parks and Policy — America’s Best Idea Turns 100,” will focus on the three main goals she has set for the agency: re-engaging people with their national parks, increasing system capacity, and preparing the next generation of park leaders.

Mary Bomar became the 17th Director of the NPS on October 17, 2006. Her immediate predecessor, Fran Mainella (2001-2006), is a visiting scholar in Clemson’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management Department and a recipient of the prestigious Cornelius Pugsley Medal from the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration.

Clemson’s PRTM and Forestry Departments jointly host the Hartzog lecture series and an associated environmental awards program, the William C. Everhart Award. The latter is named for Bill Everhart, a field interpreter, researcher, administrator, author and creator of the National Park Service’s Harpers Ferry Center.

The Hartzog lecture series, now in its 29th year, honors George B. Hartzog, Jr., the seventh NPS director. As his NPS biosketch points out, Hartzog was a “dynamic, politically astute manager … [who] greatly enlarged the service's role in urban recreation, historic preservation, interpretation, and environmental education.” Seventy units were added to the Park System during his nine-year tenure (January 9, 1964 - December 31, 1972). Hartzog, who was certainly one of the most influential of all the NPS directors, died on June 27, 2008.

Four former NPS Directors are expected to attend tomorrow’s presentation, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Clemson’s Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.

The lecture is free and open to the public.