Kansas State Parks Director Honored With National Award

Kansas State Parks Director Honored With National Award

For Immediate Release:
November 30, 2021

Nadia Reimer CMP®, KDWP Chief of Public Affairs
(785) 338-3036

Kansas State Parks Director Honored With National Award

PRATT – Linda Lanterman, State Parks director for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, was recently honored with the Fran P. Mainella Award by the Clemson University Institute for Parks (CUIP). Lanterman was gifted the award in recognition of her long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion in our nation’s parks, to include her home state of Kansas.  

The Fran P. Mainella Award is named in appreciation of the dynamic career of Fran Mainella, the first female director of the National Park Service. The award recognizes sustained and innovative achievement by a woman in the management of America’s natural, historic and cultural heritage.

“Linda was a natural choice for this award as her passion and charismatic leadership are reminiscent of Director Mainella,” said Bob Powell, CUIP director. “She is devoted to making our nation’s parks a place of beauty, refuge and solace to everyone who wishes to visit.”  

Lanterman served as the past president of the National Association of State Outdoor Recreation Liaison Officers (NASORLO) and former president of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD), organizations in which director Mainella also held leadership roles.

“Director Mainella made an impact on a young lady who never thought she could be a park director,” Lanterman said. “After that, I went on to become not only a park director, but also president of the NASPD.” 

Linda is still in awe of Fran to this day, as she has made an impact on all parks and the people she has inspired. 

Lanterman has long been a champion for the re-authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and was active in the Great American Outdoors Act efforts, as well.  She spent time in Washington, DC, educating Congress on the importance of the re-authorization and was one of the point persons for America's State Parks in the successful negotiations. 

As President of the NASPD, Lanterman provided leadership for the organization and was instrumental in establishing NASPD’s partnership with Clemson University for the implementation of a webinar series for State Park professionals around the nation. Lanterman is a strong believer in education and training opportunities and has served at the State Park Leadership School for two terms. 

In 2006, Lanterman was assistant director of Kansas State Parks when they hosted the NASPD conference that Director Mainella attended. During the event, Lanterman and Mainella spent time together, and Lanterman credits that experience for having a lasting impact on her life and career trajectory. 

For more on Kansas state parks, visit ksoutdoors.com/State-Parks.

For more on CUIP, visit https://www.clemson.edu/centers-institutes/parks/index.html


The Clemson University Institute for Parks (CUIP) provides research, education, training, and outreach that enhances the management of the world’s parks and protected areas. It accomplishes this by providing park and protected area managers with innovative research to support science-based decision-making; and by developing current and future leaders in the park movement by providing interdisciplinary and transformative education and training programs. The Institute currently consists of 35 Fellows and 10 Scholars working on park-related research.