• Pa-Hay-okee Overlook

    Everglades

    National Park Florida

STUDENT TRANSPORTATION INTERPRETER SPENDS SUMMER AT EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK

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Date: August 22, 2007
Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Contact: Liz Klein, 202-238-4194

Homestead, Florida - A Miami college student is finishing her second internship in Everglades National Park. Her twelve week working adventure was possible thanks to the generous support of Ford Motor Company, a Proud Partner of America’s National Parks. Miami Dade College student, Claudia Castillo, spent another summer in the Shark Valley area of Everglades National Park. Thanks to her previous experience she was ready to come on board and take up the path that she started walking last year. Conducting guided two-hour tram tours, guided walks, and informal visitor center programs she made a point to help the public understand and appreciate the value and wonders of the park. She became a nexus between the park and the local community that attended her programs.

Claudia is a local student pursuing an Environmental Studies degree. She is one of 25 students who worked in 16 National Parks across the country this summer providing visitors with information about the many alternative modes of transportation available to them within National Parks. The Proud Partner Transportation Interpreter Program is made possible through a partnership between the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, the Student Conservation Association, and Ford Motor Company.

Everglades National Park Superintendent Dan Kimball expressed the park’s appreciation for the opportunity to host the summer intern and participate in the partnership. "Claudia brings fresh insights to the park while helping build closer relationships with the greater Miami community", Kimball said. "It’s a great match. Taking care of America’s national parks is an investment in the future, and so is providing learning opportunities for our nation’s youth."

As a Proud Partner of America’s National Parks, Ford is working closely with the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service to help develop innovative transportation and environmental solutions that enable visitors to enjoy all of the nearly 400 National Park System areas, with minimal impacts on their resources. The Proud Partner Transportation Interpreter Program was developed to encourage National Park System visitors to use alternative modes of transportation, such as buses, trains, or ferries, with the ultimate goal of reducing vehicle congestion as well as noise and air pollution.

Each of the interns is a volunteer member of the Student Conservation Association, a national nonprofit organization that annually places more than 2,500 high school and college students in hands-on conservation service positions.

Ford is one of five Proud Partners of America’s National Parks, joining American Airlines, Discovery Communications, Inc., Kodak and TIME magazine.

- NPS -

Did You Know?

Sawgrass Prairie

The Everglades used to span from Lake Okeechobee in central Florida all the way down to Florida Bay. Now only 25% of the historic Everglades remains, which is being protected by the National Park.