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Contact: John Kelly, 207-288-8703
This week, the National Park Service (NPS) announced $15 million in support of 69 projects in 63 parks. This includes $32,864 for outreach to fourth graders in Maine with ranger-led programs at Acadia National Park and Saint Croix Island International Historic Site. The funding will be matched by Friends of Acadia (FOA).
Funding for the project is provided through the NPS's Centennial Challenge Program to leverage partnerships to improve visitor services, support outreach to new audiences, and reinvigorate national parks while forging connections with communities. Congress provided $15 million for Centennial Challenge projects, which will be matched by almost $33 million from more than 90 park partners. The 69 projects total almost $48 million and are located in 63 parks in 38 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
"As the National Park Service enters its centennial year in 2016, Congress and generous partners across the country are making exceptional investments to improve park facilities, enhance their accessibility, and help more visitors — especially young people — discover our nation's inspiring places and stores," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
"Acadia National Park is pleased to be able to provide more ranger-led programs to fourth graders in Maine," said Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider. "We know that the key to the future of our national parks rests in the hands and hearts of the next generation, so we are working closely with our partners to find ways to make Acadia National Park and Saint Croix Island International Historic Site as kid friendly as possible. The Every Kid in a Park program has provided all fourth graders with free park entry, so now we are reaching out to new schools and communities to encourage their interest in visiting parks. The shared centennials of the NPS and Acadia National Park have raised public awareness of the recreational and educational opportunities available in our parks, now we will have staffing and transportation funding to provide additional services for these new audiences." For more information on the Every Kid in a Park program, visit www.everykidinapark.gov
"Youth engagement is one of our emphasis areas because we want to grow the next generation of park stewards," said Stephanie Clement of Friends of Acadia. "The NPS Centennial Challenge Program doubles the impact of our funding by doubling the ability of the park to extend new education programs to fourth graders in Maine. We are investing in the future of Acadia with every dollar that goes to connecting youth to our parks."
"We have been receiving calls from across the state from fourth grade teachers wanting ranger-led programs during field trips to Acadia," said Chief of Interpretation Lynne Dominy. "Now we will have the staffing to say yes to many of their requests. Because over 270 Acadia Centennial Partners have planned special events in surrounding communities throughout 2016, many classes will also have the opportunity to pair their park field trips with community centennial exhibits and events."
Acadia and its many partners will celebrate 2016 with a year-long series of community events for the centennial. To see a calendar of 2016 events, see official centennial products, or apply to become a centennial partner and use the official centennial logo, visit: www.acadiacentennial2016.org
More than 270 Acadia Centennial Partners have joined with the Acadia Centennial Task Force to offer events and centennial products in the communities around Acadia — in classrooms, art galleries, libraries, historical societies, museums, theaters, restaurants, gift shops, and gardens. This celebration will also be an online dialogue where personal stories, photos, art, and ideas can be shared on social media and local websites.
The National Park Service is also celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016. Join the National Park Service and its partners as we invite the next generation of Americans, and those who already know and love the parks, to discover what national parks and public lands mean to them through the Find Your Park campaign.
For more information about Acadia, call 207-288-3338. In January and February, Park Headquarters Information Center is open weekdays, 8 am–4:30 pm. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.