APPL is a membership-based association of nonproﬁt organizations operating under formal agreements with government land management agencies, including including the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Geological Survey, and many state, regional, county, and municipal parks and forests. The mission of APPL is "to foster stewardship and appreciation of public lands and historic sites through eﬀective partnerships."
John Tobiason, the NPS' talented social media specialist at the Harpers Ferry Center, and I presented a session on social media and partnerships. To our excitement, we had overflow attendance, despite our late afternoon time slot, and folks kept us an additional hour and a half with engaging questions and discussion.
Although our presentation focused primarily on best partnership practices via social media tools Twitter and Facebook, I was able to discuss briefly the benefits of agency/university partnerships (as differentiated from agency/cooperating association and non-profit partnerships) and use the Fort Vancouver Mobile Project as a nontraditional model of sustained collaboration benefitting the public good.
From the unsolicited comments and feedback I received from attendees -- including members of the NPS Directorate in Washington D.C. -- the FVM project and partnership is on radar screens and fast becoming a national model for mobile interpretation. The FVM was even recently discussed at the White House, as part of the national Let's Move! initiative. Good times!