Watch WNPA executive director James Cook and student Maya Wallace in an interview for AZ Illustrated Nature.

The Western National Parks Association is honoring three people for their philanthropy and conservation work on behalf of national parks.

WNPA is based in Southern Arizona but it operates 66 stores at national parks here and other western states, where it has raised millions of dollars to help parks.

The organization is holding its second annual dinner and reception on Saturday, March 15th in Tucson where it will honor retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

The other honorees are Dr. Milton Chen, currently a senior fellow and executive director emeritus of The George Lucas Educational Foundation and Don Swann, a wildlife biologist at Saguaro National Park.

In addition, Sabino High School student Maya Wallace will be announced as the grand-prize winner of the National Parks Essay Contest, which was sponsored by WNPA and the Metropolitan Education Council.