WASHINGTON – Today, President Obama announced the designation of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument as America’s 413th unit of the National Park System. The new national park unit was made possible through a generous donation of 87,500 acres by Roxanne Quimby and her family. The gift has been facilitated by the National Park Foundation as part of its Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks. In addition to the new park land, the gift includes an endowment of $20 million to supplement federal funds for initial park operational needs and infrastructure development at the new monument, and a pledge of another $20 million in future philanthropic support.
“This extraordinary gift sets the stage for a strong and vibrant second century for America’s national parks,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “Through their vision and generosity, Ms. Quimby and her family are carrying on the philanthropic tradition from which the national parks were born 100 years ago, and which helped create Grand Teton, Acadia, and Virgin Islands National Parks.”
“As the National Park Service begins a second century of conservation this week, the President’s designation of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument serves as an inspiration to reflect on America’s iconic landscapes and historical and cultural treasures,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “Through this incredibly generous private gift for conservation, these lands will remain accessible to current and future generations of Americans, ensuring the rich history of Mainers’ hunting, fishing and recreation heritage will forever be preserved.”
“Our family would like to thank President Obama and the members of his administration for their hard work to safeguard America’s natural treasures and for their efforts to prepare the National Park Service for its next 100 years of success. This designation is a fitting tribute to the ‘Centennial of America’s Greatest Idea,’” said the Board of Directors for Elliotsville Plantation, Inc.
“The National Park Service marks its centennial this week with a renewed commitment to tell a more complete story of our nation and to connect with the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the Centennial and underscore our mission than by adding this extraordinary piece of Maine's North Woods to the National Park System, and sharing its stories and world class recreation opportunities with the rest of the world.”
As part of its Congressionally-chartered mission, the National Park Foundation has provided vital initial support to several new national park units including Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, Pullman National Monument, Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, César E. Chávez National Monument, and Stonewall National Monument. Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument joins these new parks in preserving unique elements of the American landscape and story.
Through the Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, the National Park Foundation seeks to raise $350 million for programs and projects designed to protect America’s special places, connect people from all backgrounds to parks, and inspire future generations of national park stewards. With this gift, the Foundation has raised more than $300 million toward the goal.
ABOUT THE 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.