New Character, “Eli the Elk,” Traveling Nationwide to Promote Funding for National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Walking in the tracks of some of the great conservation champions of our time, including Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl, a new character named Eli the Elk, created by The Corps Network, is traveling around the country this July and August to highlight the importance of America’s treasured public lands on social media, as well as the federal funding that supports them.

With a catchphrase of “Conserve today, for access tomorrow,” Eli will visit Service and Conservation Corps working on public lands across the nation. His cutout will appear in photos posted on Facebook and Twitter that highlight many of the great places where Corpsmembers are serving and helping to protect public lands, including national parks, forests, and local parks.
Eli also encourages others to participate, and help grow visibility of critical federal funding for conservation. On September 30th of this year, legislation authorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund will expire, unless reauthorized by Congress. Originally created in 1965, the Fund has been used to conserve land and fund projects across the country in places such as Acadia National Park, Redwood National Park, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, and the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.   
“We thought that creating Eli was a terrific and fun way to bring more attention to public lands,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network. “While many Americans love to camp, hike, and enjoy the outdoors, they might not be aware that maintenance, upkeep, and improvement of these places requires an investment. We hope that funding for public lands management agencies like the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Fish and Wildlife Service continues to be supported by Congress, as well as critical conservation programs such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund.”

Hang Out with Eli and Participate!
A printable version of Eli can be found at, along with sample Facebook and Twitter posts. Through the month of August, participants are invited to showcase Eli and take him along on outdoor adventures whether it be in a national park or in their own local park. Tagging photos with the hashtags #EliElk and #outdoors4all is encouraged, as well as following Eli’s travels on Twitter @ElitheElk.

About The Corps Network

The Corps Network provides critical leadership to the Corps movement and our nation’s Service and Conservation Corps as they harness the power of youth and young adults to tackle some of America’s greatest challenges and transform their own lives.

Our 100+ members operate in all states and the District of Columbia. Each year they collectively enroll approximately 23,000 Corpsmembers from ages 16-25. Corps are comprehensive youth development programs that provide their participants with job training, academic programming, leadership skills, and additional support through a strategy of service that improves communities and the environment. Learn more at

Media Contact:

Levi Novey, Director of Communications & Marketing

[email protected], 202.737.6272