WASHINGTON – Eight diverse social media influencers – unique in geographic locations, interests, and backgrounds – have won an unforgettable national park adventure during the National Park Service Centennial year, thanks to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The winners will travel together to Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, and Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park.
You can be part of the fun at www.nationalparks.org/fypx and by following #FYPx on social media.
Engaging people from all walks of life and inspiring them to discover all that a park can be through a variety of park experiences, the National Park Foundation’s 2016 Find Your Park Expedition highlights the essence of the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement.
“From walking in the footsteps of the Buffalo soldiers, to watching the sunset over the ocean, to imagining life aboard a historic ship, to warm welcomes from National Park Service rangers, our Find Your Park Expedition participants will be sharing all of their experiences online so that people everywhere can virtually tag along,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “As we continue celebrating the National Park Service Centennial this year and enter into the second century of the National Park Service, we’re grateful to our partners for supporting an incredible opportunity for people to discover how our national parks truly have something for everyone.”
Thanks to support from Find Your Park premier partners REI and Subaru, and through partnerships with Aramark, Columbia Sportswear and Historic Hotels of America, expenses including transportation and lodging will be covered and outdoor gear will be provided.
You can read quotes from National Park Foundation partners and find out why they’re excited about this year’s expedition on the National Park Foundation's blog today.
“Thank you to the winners for sharing their national park experiences,” said Laura E. Joss, regional director for the National Park Service's Pacific West Region. “We hope it will inspire others to find their park and create their own treasured memories.”
The National Park Foundation’s 2016 Find Your Park Expedition participants are:
Edgar Woo of Miami, FL
A freelance photographer, radio show host, and the creative director for @MIAexplore, Edgar inspires people in Miami and worldwide to explore the depths of their creativity by bridging connections between photography and music.
Erin McGrady of Asheville, NC
From exploring Mayan ruins in Belize, to working as a divemaster in the Bahamas, to teaching middle schoolers in Baltimore, Maryland, Erin thrives on new experiences and sharing them through photographs and storytelling. She’s captivated by the power of photography to educate and inspire. This past June she followed her heart to Asheville and says most days you can find her on the trails with her girlfriend and their two dogs.
Faith E. Briggs of Brooklyn, NY
A Yale alumna and documentary filmmaker, Faith’s passion is sharing stories from communities of color and creating spaces for conversation. Well-known in the urban running community in New York City, she is a proud member of Black Roses NYC and a co-founder of Movement: Black August. The movement highlights lesser-known African American historical sites and inspires people to deeply connect with the rich history of the Diaspora.
Jacob Fu of Portland, OR
Co-founder of the popular travel blog, Local Adventurer, Jacob believes that adventure is not only found in far, exotic places, but also in your own backyard. He shares his experiences online in hopes that it’ll motivate more people to explore locally. While he was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, he’s moved to a new city every year since 2013. And, he has all 413 national parks on his bucket list.
Juan Flores of Indianapolis, IN
A photographer with a background in visual communication design, Juan can be found wandering around the Midwest and documenting his experiences for all to follow. He loves to learn and believes you can never stop learning. He is also a moderator for @igersindy, a community of Hoosier creatives.
Mario Villanueva of Austin, TX
A visual artist, photographer, and social entrepreneur, Mario’s mantra is every moment counts. Originally from Mexico, he moved to the United States when he was three years old and was the first in his family to graduate from college. Currently working for Austin Parks and Recreation as an art counselor, he also recently launched UNICO, an online LGBTQ journal that dives into the lives of people making a difference in the community.
Victoria Gonzalez of Hackensack, NJ
A Columbian-American writer and active advocate for women travelers as part of Travel Latina, Victoria has coined the term “histourism” to describe her passion for blending her love of history and seeing the world. Currently pursuing a career in cultural heritage, she hopes to enhance how people experience museums and landmarks. She can also be found playing roller derby, using the name “Tacocat.”
Victoria Ramos of San Marcos, TX
Born and raised in a border-town in south Texas, Victoria is a passionate photography student who now resides in central Texas. Part of @igsanmarcos, a local central Texas Instagram community of creatives, she loves taking portraits and has recently developed an interest in landscape photography as well.
In its fourth 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. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a $350 million comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.