WASHINGTON – Five grand prize winners’ submissions will inspire National Park Service Centennial Ambassadors Bill Nye (scientist), Bella Thorne (Alvin & The Chipmunks, The DUFF), Roselyn Sanchez (Lifetime’s Devious Maids), Mary Lambert (singer/songwriter, Mackelmore’s Same Love) and Terrence J (E! News, Think Like a Man Too) to create original creative projects. The submissions are part of The Centennial Project, a contest hosted by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation celebrating the National Park Service Centennial and encouraging people to share their unique #FindYourPark stories and experiences.
With over 5,400 creative submissions spanning songs, photos, paintings, poems, and videos, winners were selected from a pool of 240 finalists through public voting on FindYourPark.com. Each Centennial Ambassador’s unique creative project, inspired by the five grand prize winners, will be announced and released over the course of this centennial year.
“As we celebrate our 100th year at the National Park Service, the thousands of creative entries for The Centennial Project demonstrate the many different ways that people across the country are finding their park, both at our most iconic sites and at some of our hidden gems,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The winners announced today have inspired our Centennial Ambassadors and many others to discover something new about our nation’s great national parks during our centennial year.”
“The Centennial Project encourages people from all backgrounds to explore ways that parks can inspire creativity and demonstrates how sharing park experiences with each other can foster connections with a new location or strengthen ties to familiar places,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “As we celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service, we hope this project will help people discover how parks are vital and relevant to their lives.”
The five grand prize winners and the Centennial Ambassador who will be creating a Centennial Project based on each submission are:
- Heather Morris, of Oceanside, CA, inspired Bella Thorne with a submission of beautiful photos from her camping trip at Joshua Tree National Park.
- Jeff Wilson of Fountaintown, IN, inspired Bill Nye with his photos and text submission of his experience using Chaco Culture National Historical Park as a live classroom for his high school students.
- Megan Pagado of North Bethesda, MD, inspired Roselyn Sanchez with her photos and text submission of her love story of meeting her fiancé while taking swing dance classes in Glen Echo Park.
- Grace Hassler of Washington, D.C., inspired Mary Lambert with her photos and text submission demonstrating how national parks are key to maintaining a healthy mindset.
- Sayantani DasGupta of Palisades, NY, inspired Terrence J with her video submission of her family connection with national parks through the Junior Ranger Program.
You can learn more about the projects on the National Park Foundation’s blog today.
Grand prize winners will receive an impressive package including two annual Federal Recreational Lands Passes; a fully-guided REI Adventures weekend getaway for two to a national park; a Subaru adventure kit featuring a limited-edition national parks blanket, a Yakima SkyBox 16 LTD, and a $500 Subaru gear gift card; and a Coleman® Tenaya Lake™ 6P Fast Pitch Cabin.
In addition to the five grand prize winners, 45 first prize winners will receive two annual Federal Recreational Lands Passes, a Subaru national parks blanket, and a Coleman® 54qt Steel Belted® Cooler; and 50 second prize winners will receive a Coleman® 1000 Lumen CPX™ 6 Lantern.
The Centennial Project is a great example of the countless ways there are to #FindYourPark. Launched in March 2015, Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque is a public awareness and education movement to inspire people from all backgrounds to connect with, celebrate, and support America’s national parks and community-based programs. Celebrating the National Park Service Centennial and setting the stage for the Service's next 100 years, #FindYourPark invites people to discover and share their own unique connections to our nation's natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history.
Throughout 2016, there will be celebrations across the country honoring the National Park Service Centennial. A calendar of events can be found at http://prks.org/CelebrateCentennial. In addition, the Find Your Park Press Play video contest is accepting entries until March 4.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 410 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.
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.