Joe Elton President, America's State Parks Foundation

Joe Elton is Past President of the National Association of State Park Directors and has helped launch the America’s State Parks Alliance to better represent the more than 2,000 state parks across the country and the more than 727 million annual visitors to those parks.

Since 1994, he has also served as Virginia’s State Parks Director and is the sixth person to serve in this capacity since the system was launched on June 15, 1936. In 2001, Joe accepted on behalf of Virginia’s state parks the national gold medal for excellence in park and recreation management. In 2007, Joe received the National Association of State Park Directors Distinguished Service Award in recognition of many years of dedicated service and inspired leadership to the conservation, interpretation and enhancement of our nation’s natural and cultural state park treasures.

Joe is an avid outdoorsman with a lifetime interest in camping, fishing, hunting, canoeing, hiking, biking and many outdoor recreational activities. For more information about America’s State Parks, visit