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    Everglades

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Everglades National Park Announces Private Donation to Everglades National Park Environmental Education Program

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Date: May 2, 2008
Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714

HOMESTEAD (May 2, 2008) – Superintendent Dan Kimball will join representatives of Toyota North America Inc. at the Shark Valley entrance to Everglades National Park on Tuesday May 6, 2008 at 9 AM to announce a gift of $1 million and five vehicles from Toyota to support the park’s education programs over three years.

Company representatives will present the superintendent with a check for $1 million and keys to five Toyota vehicles at the Shark Valley event.

Representatives from the Department of Interior in Washington and the chairman of the South Florida National Parks Trust, the principal fund-raising organization for South Florida’s national parks, will join Superintendent Kimball at the event. Toyota’s gift to the park is being made through the South Florida National Parks Trust.

Toyota’s donation to the park for this school year will be matched in part by the National Park Service through the National Park Centennial Challenge program. The program provides federal matching dollars for private donations to boost funding for national parks nationwide in preparation for the 100th anniversary of NPS in 2016.

"The Centennial Challenge offers a great opportunity for our partners to add value to their investments in the parks through this program,"

Superintendent Kimball said. "This is a proud day for Everglades National Park and for our neighboring communities."

"This generous donation from Toyota will allow the park to enhance our environmental education program, improve the skills of our staff, and will allow the park to continue our long-standing environmental education program, while expanding our reach in the local community and enhancing our programs and materials."

The NPS will match $105,100 in private funding from Toyota this year to support education programs at Everglades National Park.

The $210,000 in combined funding will be used by Everglades National Park to support initiatives including day program field trips and camping trips for grade school students; the K-12 Miccosukee Indian School program; in-park teacher workshops for day and camping programs; in-park special programs for other school groups and student organizations; and in-school teacher workshops.

Over the next three years, Everglades National Park will use Toyota’s contribution to continue to provide high quality curriculum-based education programs to local communities that surround and depend on the Everglades ecosystem. The funding supports six seasonal rangers, three year-round staff members and four volunteers.

In addition to personnel, funding sustains core educational programs such as day program field trips for students in grades 4 – 6, camping program for grades 5 and 6, the Miccosukee Indian School program and in-park teacher workshops for day and camping programs.

Special in-park programs for school groups and student organizations and in-school teacher workshop on Everglades curricula, as well as and new projects and programs such as Teacher Appreciation Day, Weekend Family Camping program, Kids Day at Camp and media and curriculum development, will also be funded with this donation.

-EVER-

Did You Know?

Scenic View of Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness

Everglades National Park protects the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River. The wilderness area is named for Marjory Stoneman Douglas who was instrumental in creating the park, and who coined the phrase "River of Grass."