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National Park Foundation Grants and Programs

Working on its own and with partners, the National Park Foundation funds grants and programs that meet priorities and critical needs across our National Park System in the areas of youth, community outreach, conservation and professional engagement. The Foundation actively supports the National Park Service in its goal to prepare national parks for another century of conservation, preservation and enjoyment by its 100th anniversary in 2016. For more information about the National Park Foundation, visit www.nationalparks.org.

Below you will find brief summaries and deadlines for the current and upcoming grant opportunities. For additional information or questions about NPF programs and grants, please contact 202-354-6479.

Ticket To Ride
One of the greatest barriers preventing our youth from experiencing the national parks around them is lack of transportation and funding for activities. The goal of the Ticket to Ride program is to provide efficient transportation support for over 100,000 students to visit our national parks annually and to engage the youth in meaningful activities once there. Once in the parks, a world of learning unfolds as young people discover their natural, cultural and historical heritage, participate in volunteer and service-learning activities, enjoy recreational opportunities and, most importantly, begin a lifelong relationship with their national parks.

Ticket to Ride Grant Application
Online Grant Information and Application

For additional information, please contact Katherine Chesson, Manager, Grants and Programs, 202-354-6479 or Kchesson@nationalparks.org

DEADLINE: Friday, April 18, 2014

Active Trails
The Active Trails program promotes healthy living by literally getting people out and active on the trails -whether hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, or volunteering to improve existing trails or build new ones. This NPF signature program grants parks the opportunity to develop a community engagement platform through restoration work, recreational activities, and large-scale kickoff and celebration events. Among other goals, the program aligns with "Healthy Parks/Healthy People" and National Trails System goals which, leading up to it's 50th Anniversary in 2018, encompass increasing public awareness, building and enhancing trails, and enhancing management capacity by Federal agencies.

A conference call to discuss the proposal process will be held on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 3:30pm EST. All parties interested in submitting a proposal are encouraged to attend the call, but it is not required that you be on this call to submit a proposal. Please see the attached Grant Application and Guidelines for the conference phone number.

Grant Application and Guidelines (pdf)
Online Application

For additional information, please contact Carolyn Hill, Director, Grants and Programs, at 202-354-6471 or Chill@nationalparks.org

DEADLINE: Friday, March 7, 2014

America's Best Idea
Now entering its sixth year, the America's Best Idea grants program is an NPF signature program meant to engage diverse audiences in meaningful and relevant ways with national parks and inspire participants to become stewards of our national park system. The original goal of the program was to capitalize on the 2009, 12-hour Ken Burns film, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, as a catalyst for connecting under-represented audiences with their national parks. This program has evolved into a successful model for national parks to engage multicultural, multi-ethnic groups of all ages, and to inspire their future stewardship of our national parks. At its core, it is a community engagement program with an emphasis on underserved youth.

Grant Application and Guidelines (pdf)
Online Application

If you have any questions, please contact Carolyn Hill, Director, Grants & Programs at 202-354-6471 or by email at Chill@nationalparks.org

DEADLINE: Friday, March 21, 2014

Parks Climate Challenge
Now in its third year, Parks Climate Challenge (PCC) trains teachers how to educate students about climate change using national parks as classrooms. This is done by implementing a nationally relevant and replicable teacher training model that consists of three delivery mechanisms:

  • An in-person teacher training conducted at national park sites
  • An online component, parksclimatechallenge.org, that teachers can use to self-train and access resources necessary for teaching in the classroom.
  • An in-park experience for students to deepen their understanding of climate change in national parks.

For the RFP
For the online application

If you have any questions, please contact Katherine Chesson, Program Manager, at 202-354-6479 or by email at kchesson@nationalparks.org

DEADLINE: Friday, March 16, 2012

Park Stewards Program
Launched in 2009, the Park Stewards Program gives high school teachers and students the opportunity to explore the relevance of national parks to their lives and enables them to become civically engaged stewards of their national parks. Through the program model, high school teachers and park rangers team up to develop curriculum and service-learning activities that tie to the national park and applicable state standards. The curriculum and service-learning activities are then implemented throughout the year and revised through the fall and spring semesters. Through service-learning activities, students apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills (in addition to physical skills as appropriate) to address genuine needs of the park.

Grant Application and Guidelines (pdf)
Track One Online Application: For applicants who have not previously been selected for a Park Stewards Grant
Track Two Online Application: For applicants who are building on, or expanding, their existing Park Stewards program.

For more information, please contact Carolyn Hill, Director, Grants and Programs at 202-354-6471 or Chill@nationalparks.org.

DEADLINE: Friday, March 14, 2014

National Park Transportation Scholar
The National Park Foundation is pleased to announce it is accepting applications from the National Park Service for the 2014 Transportation Scholar program. The Transportation Scholar program was developed to support and promote sustainable transportation solutions that help preserve park resources and enhance visitor experience by providing parks with Transportation Scholars, individuals who have substantial knowledge and expertise in transportation related areas. Transportation Scholars work with park employees and partners on projects such as transportation planning, alternative transportation, analysis, coordination with local communities, and environmental and traffic studies.

This partnership program brings together the National Park Foundation, National Park Service, Eno Transportation Foundation, Federal Highway Administration, and the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Technical Assistance Center.

RFP and application details
Online RFP and information

If you have additional questions, please contact Katherine Chesson, Manager, Grants and Programs, at 202-354-6479 or by email at kchesson@nationalparks.org

DEADLINE: December 20, 2013

Disneynature IMPACT Grants
The National Park Foundation is accepting applications from the National Park Service for the 2014 Disneynature Impacts Grants program. Impact Grants are designed to help parks that need additional funding accomplish project or program goals they could not otherwise achieve. The Disneynature Impact Grant program is funded by Disneynature through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. This year, selection criteria will focus on strengthening NPS efforts in three areas; Wildlife Protection, Habitat Restoration, and Conservation Research.

For the RFP and application details
For the online RFP

If you have additional questions, please contact Katherine Chesson, Manager, Grants and Programs, at 202-354-6479 or by email at kchesson@nationalparks.org

DEADLINE: December 20, 2013

PARK Teachers Program
The PARK (Parks As Resources for Knowledge) Teachers Program has developed innovative ways to improve teachers’ access and use of national park resources. The program establishes partnerships between National Park Service education staff and science methods faculty from local universities. Each park/university team collaboratively designs a science module(s) for pre-service teachers to learn from, selecting unique content based on that park’s natural resources. The program utilizes techniques empowering students to come to their own conclusions instead of being taught the correct answer.

As the program evolves, the National Park Foundation strives to impact teacher education programs across the country, targeting universities that focus on underserved audiences, forming strong national alliances with education partners, and applying the model to high school teachers — ultimately arming thousands of teachers nationwide with an understanding of the relevance of national parks as living classrooms.

The program is made possible through the generous support of the Toyota U.S.A. Foundation.

If you have any questions, please contact Carolyn Hill, Director, at 202-354-6471 or by email at Chill@nationalparks.org.

Please check back for more information in Fall 2012.

NOTE: Recent grants awarded by the National Park Foundation

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