WASHINGTON – Today, the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, announced its partnership with CSX Transportation in support of the Foundation’s Transportation Scholars program. Now in its 13th year, this program selects emerging transportation professionals to work side-by-side with National Park Service staff to find solutions that address the growing and unique transportation issues in America’s national parks, including visitor safety, traffic, pollution, and congestion.
The National Park Foundation awarded $250,000 in grants to five national parks across the country this year through the Transportation Scholars program.
“CSX Transportation recognizes that addressing growing transportation issues is vital to the future of America’s national parks and we are grateful for their support,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “Through this partnership, the Transportation Scholars program can enhance visitor safety and accessibility, while simultaneously protecting America’s national treasures.”
“Working with the National Park Foundation’s Transportation Scholars Program helps protect the environment, a key area of CSX community focus, also while developing young people in the field of transportation logistics. This new partnership is a winning solution for the parks, the scholars and the transportation industry,” said Tori Kaplan, CSX AVP of Corporate Social Responsibility.
The Transportation Scholars program model has proven so successful that the Transit in Parks Technical Assistance Center (TRIPTAC) launched a complementary program in 2011, expanding the program to other public lands. This extension, the TRIPTAC Public Lands Transportation Scholars Program, is based on the NPF program model and matches Transportation Scholars with other federal land management agencies. The two programs work together to train and mentor scholars with the shared goal of preserving our nation’s valuable natural, cultural, and historic resources and enhancing the visitor experience by implementing sustainable, alternative transportation in national parks and public lands.
Previous scholars’ work has resulted in fourteen million dollars in private and public funding to put the Transportation Scholars’ plans into action. Past scholars have gone on to careers with the National Park Service, the Federal Highway Administration, the Department of Transportation, and many private consulting agencies.
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. For more than 185 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation's economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation's population resides. It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and small farming towns alike. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/CSX).
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, raises private funds that directly aid, support, and enrich America’s more than 400 national parks and their programs. Chartered by Congress as the nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation plays a critical role in conservation and preservation efforts, establishing national parks as powerful learning environments, and giving all audiences an equal and abundant opportunity to experience, enjoy, and support America’s treasured places.