WASHINGTON – Eight individuals from across the country have won a week-long adventure, thanks to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The winners will travel together to Mesa Verde National Park, visiting Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve along the way, and share all of their experiences online.
You can be part of the fun at www.nationalparks.org/fypx and by following #FYPx on social media.
Engaging people from all backgrounds and inspiring them to discover all that a park can be through a variety of park experiences, the National Park Foundation’s 2015 Find Your Park Expedition highlights the essence of the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement.
“A park can be many different things to many different people and we can’t wait to experience our national parks through the eyes of this year’s participants,” said Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “We’re grateful to our partners for supporting the expedition, inspiring people from all backgrounds to explore and share their own unique connections to parks.”
Thanks to support from Find Your Park premier partners REI and Subaru and through partnerships with Aramark, Columbia Sportswear, and Southwest, expenses including transportation and lodging will be covered and outdoor gear will be provided.
You can read quotes from each of the National Park Foundation partners and find out why they’re excited about this year’s expedition on the National Park Foundation's blog today.
“We look forward to welcoming the expedition to Mesa Verde,” said Cliff Spencer, superintendent of Mesa Verde National Park. “Fall is a great time to visit Southwest Colorado and experience the rich cultural history of the Four Corners region."
The National Park Foundation’s 2015 Find Your Park Expedition participants are:
Andia Winslow of New York, NY
Andia, Yale alumna and founder of The Fit Cycle, is a professional golfer, master certified fitness professional/sports performance coach, and TV personality. Her innovative fitness and wellness efforts have been recognized globally. She loves heavy beats and good riffs and works to inspire folks to harmonize their bodies with their environments.
Andrew Lin of Powell, OH
Andrew enjoys watching Game of Thrones and playing video games, but more than anything else, he has cultivated a deep passion for the wilderness. His time spent in the wilderness has brought him so much wonder, joy, and peace that he now films and hosts the YouTube series Adventure Archives.
Casey Schreiner of Los Angeles, CA
Casey is the founder and editor-in-chief of Modern Hiker, California’s most-read hiking blog. After moving to Southern California from New England, Casey was inspired by the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountains and created the site to share information and inspiration with hikers of all ability levels and backgrounds.
Javier Gonzalez of Austin, TX
Javier is a Mexican-American artist who was brought to the U.S. by his parents, in search of the American Dream, at the age of two. Through the use of mobile photography, Javier captures the vibrant urban landscapes of Central Texas and shares his perspective and passion with others.
Mara Grace Cortez of Los Angeles, CA
Mara is lifestyle, landscape and travel photographer. Although she grew up as a city girl, her heart is called to the mountains, forests, and deserts which is why she spends her free time taking overnight/day trips to beautiful scenic places. A lot of the inspiration in her life comes from the encounters she has on her travels.
Mellie Davis of New York, NY
Mellie is obsessed with travel and exploration. She credits her lust for new experiences to her mother who migrated her family from Belize to The Bronx when Mellie was very young. On her blog, TheFatAppleNYC.com, she shares her life with her readers and writes about plus size fashion, NYC living, restaurant reviews, and more.
Victor Wei of Morris Plains, NJ
Victor is a recent college graduate who enjoys storytelling, photography, and adventures. He can always be seen driving around with his friends looking for new places and people to photograph. He is a big history buff who reads all about the places he visits and loves hearing the stories of others who he connects with.
Whitney Mitchell of New Orleans, LA
Whitney is a visual artist and collective impact strategist, creatively working to address health disparities in New Orleans. Currently, she is the lead of Fit NOLA. With over eight years’ experience in cause marketing, Whitney draws on the realities of life and its obstacles to create visuals that inspire community movement.
The 2015 expedition is an expanded take on the American Latino Expedition, a program of the American Latino Heritage Fund of the National Park Foundation. In its third year, the expedition will raise awareness about all that the National Park System has to offer, including careers with the National Park Service. In addition, the experience will redefine the word “park.” Beyond vast landscapes, the expedition will bring attention to historical, urban, and cultural parks, as well as National Park Service programs that protect, preserve and share America’s collective heritage in communities nationwide.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.