(Washington, D.C.) August 1, 2013 –Today the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, announced it has awarded $131,000 to 11 national parks across the country through its Impact Grants program. Now in its sixth year, the Impact Grants program provides national parks with the critical financial support they need to transform innovative, yet underfunded, ideas into successful in-park programs and initiatives.
“These grants will allow our parks to preserve park resources, reach new audiences, and foster the next generation of national park stewards,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We are grateful for the continuing support of the National Park Foundation in providing funding to bring these original program ideas to fruition.”
“In a time when national park budgets have been tightened exponentially, these Impact Grants make an enormous difference,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “Leveraging the grants, parks are able to strengthen their interpretation and education programs, improve the visitor experience, and further engage with their surrounding communities.”
Ranging in size and scope, each of the selected parks demonstrated a clear need in which funding would make a profound difference. Among the 2013 Impact Grants recipients are:
Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts
This national park will continue its work to positively impact how youth perceive and engage with the outdoors. Working in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and their Torch Club program, which teaches leadership skills and promotes community service, Cape Cod National Seashore will connect youth ages 11 – 14 years with a national park in their backyard and share the importance of conservation in a hands-on environment.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California
This national park will promote “Healthy Parks, Healthy People” by launching a “Park Prescriptions” pilot program with the Southeast Health Center of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. They will develop culturally relevant park programming that can be specifically prescribed and promoted by the health center staff. In addition, they will work to make the park more accessible and welcoming to first-time and infrequent park visitors and will plan a “Saturday Welcome Series” to encourage new visitors to enjoy the park through guided group walks.
Moores Creek National Battlefield, North Carolina
This national park will work with a local community partner to offer fun and engaging curriculum-based summer camps that will provide local youth with the opportunity to explore nature and history in a hands-on environment. Through the 'Wild Detectives' program, a science-based camp, area youth will be exposed to the importance of protecting their local environment, including water quality testing and ecosystem preservation. Campers will also explore the creek with guided canoe tours along the waterways that run through the park.
River Raisin National Battlefield Park, Michigan
Students and teachers from Detroit will engage with social media and web-based applications to learn about the significance of this national park and gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for those who have fought to protect our rights as U.S. citizens. Students and teachers will learn the importance of preserving this battlefield in addition to other national, state and local War of 1812 sites including Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial in neighboring Ohio.
For a full listing of participating parks and program descriptions, please visit the National Park Foundation website.
For more information on the National Park Foundation or how you can support and protect America’s national parks, please visit www.nationalparks.org. For more information about the National Park Service, please visit www.nps.gov.