Willow Bend Environmental Education Center and Flagstaff Area National Monuments Receive 2013 America's Best Idea Grant From the National Park Foundation
Contact: Cecilia Shields, 928-526-1157 x228
Contact: Russell Tweed, 928-779-1745
Contact: Alanna Sobel, 202-354-6486
Flagstaff, AZ, April 23, 2013 - Willow Bend Environmental Education Center and the Flagstaff Area National Monuments - Sunset Crater Volcano, Walnut Canyon, and Wupatki - are one of 34 recipients across the country selected to receive a 2013 America's Best Idea grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks. Inspired by the critically acclaimed Ken Burns' documentary, "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," the America's Best Idea program funds park activities designed to connect diverse, underserved and under-engaged populations throughout the United States with their national parks in innovative and meaningful ways.
Through their partnership, Willow Bend Environmental Education Center and the Flagstaff Area National Monuments will bring environmental education into the classroom and children into our local National Monuments to provide an understanding of past and present sustainable practices. The project team will work with teachers to develop resources and training through the Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program and will also include family learning activities. Teachers interested in learning more about participating in this project should contact Willow Bend Environmental Education Center at 928-779-1745.
Willow Bend's Project Manager, Cassandra Roberts, explained that, "past cultures lived sustainably using the natural landscapes for thousands of years. Their departure from this area may have been influenced by changing weather patterns and drought. Environmental concerns today are causing humans to look at how they can live more sustainably as well."
"Having recently achieved Climate Friendly Park status, the Flagstaff Area National Monuments are eager to share with our community and visitors our commitment to environmental protection and preservation through education. This project is one step forward on our goal of educating 90,000 visitors about climate change and sustainability practices by 2016", said Sara Feldt, Education Technician for the Flagstaff Area Monuments.
"The America's Best Idea program gives people - particularly youth - incredible opportunities to connect to our national parks through unique and innovative ways," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "From experiences that center on history, the environment and even adventure, we are able to capture the imagination of a new generation of park-goers in ways that benefit their lives and the future of the parks."
The National Park Foundation wishes to thank L.L. Bean, the Anschutz Family Foundation, and The Ahmanson Foundation for their generous support of the America's Best Idea program.
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.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE and the FLAGSTAFF AREA NATIONAL MONUMENTS
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
ABOUT WILLOW BEND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER
JOIN US - This is Your Land. www.nationalparks.org
Did You Know?
Animal-shaped figurines made from split twigs have been found near Walnut Canyon National Monument and at other places in the southwest. They indicate the presence of early human inhabitants 4000 or more years ago.