Averett named to NPS Friends Alliance

Published 7:59 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Bess Averett, executive director of Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign, has been named to the Friends Alliance steering committee, a national committee supported by the National Park Foundation.

The Friends Alliance is a union of National Park Service officials and their non-profit partners that evolved from a meeting convened by the National Park Foundation in 1994.

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It shares information among its participants, learns and helps to clarify NPS policies, advances partnership and philanthropic ideas, and discusses relationship-building strategy between friends groups and the National Park Service.

The Friends Alliance is led by a steering committee, and participation is open to all national park friends groups.

The nine-member steering committee serves a three-year term and includes representatives from park partner organizations representing diverse units of the park service from across the country.

Opportunity for VNMP

The steering committee, Averett said, is involved in planning programs and meetings, conferences and works with the alliance to support the national parks.

Averett said the committee “traditionally has been made up of the representatives from the larger friends groups, but with the birth and emergence of smaller friends groups, I think they were looking for a member on the steering committee from one of the emerging friends groups. I’m happy to be in that role.”

She attended her first meeting earlier this month in Washington, D.C.

Being a part of the steering committee, she said, “Is a great opportunity for us and certainly our park to get a little bit more recognition. We’ll meet often with the people who make decisions for the national parks. I think it will certainly benefit Vicksburg.”

The Friends of the Vicksburg National Park and Campaign is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that works with the Vicksburg National Park to promote the park and enhance the battlefield and promote public appreciation for the history it represents.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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