Mayor Alvin Brown was appointed to a newly-formed committee of the National Park Service Advisory Board Wednesday. The goal is to expand the groups reach in metropolitan areas. 

The NPS wants to be more involved in urban communities and hopes the new committee will help its efforts by offering new strategies to better serve cities and figure out funding on the local level.

Jacksonville has one of the nation's most expansive urban park systems and Brown's administration wants to educate people on the importance of parks while helping them understand how the park system works. One reason why the mayor thinks keeping up with city parks that already exist is key to moving forward.

“Jacksonville’s partnership with the National Park Service is very important and I am honored by this appointment,” said Brown. “In Jacksonville, we appreciate the special value of our parks to our community. They are vital to our quality of life and they help define Jacksonville as one of America’s great cities.”

The relationship between the NPS and Jacksonville is already strong. They have a partnership in the Timucuan State and National Parks, planning and coordinating the management of federal, state and city preserves. They've also developed a plan to create a park on the Exchange Club Island in the St. Johns River near the Mathews Bridge.

The mayor is just one of several other local leaders from around the country that have joined forces with the NPS to build stronger relationships with city, state and federal partners. 

“Mayor Brown will provide valuable input to the Urban Committee, which will help the National Park Service to more effectively engage the country’s diverse urban populations as the park service plans for its centennial in 2016,” said NPS Superintendent Barbara Goodman.