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Contact: Marjorie Hall, 202-654-6480
Contact: Julie Johndreau, 605-433-5242
(Monday, May 13, 2013) Interior, SD - Badlands National Park has been selected to receive a 2013 "Ticket to Ride" grant from the National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charity of America's national parks. The Ticket to Ride program, supported by a $500,000 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, helps students explore the outdoors by providing transportation and program support to national parks around the country.
"Providing the means for America's youth to experience all that our national park system has to offer is imperative," said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "Disney's support has helped make it possible for us to engage thousands of young people in life changing park experiences, and ultimately inspiring the next generation of park enthusiasts."
Now in its second year and with continued support from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and Disney Friends for Change, "Ticket to Ride" provides financial resources for transportation, in-park educational programming, and meals that make national park field trips possible for schools across the country. The grant from Disney will help more than 60,000 students to experience location-based learning in their local national parks this year. Disney is committed to connecting kids to nature, ensuring they appreciate and understand the beauty and value of our natural resources.
At Badlands, the grant will be used to bring local students to the park to experience meaningful park programming with rangers and teachers. The longer term goal is to better prepare a local Native American workforce to someday manage the first ever tribal national park of its kind that is proposed for the South Unit of Badlands. The park's role is to be a place where students of all backgrounds come together to learn about and experience the mission and intent of America's National Parks, so they are inspired to make public lands a part of their lives, communities, and careers.
"We are pleased to partner with Kadoka School District and Red Cloud Indian School with the goal of bringing more students to the park," said Badlands Superintendent Eric Brunnemann. "Visiting the park will enhance their high school curriculum, encourage them to be more physically active, and perhaps inspire them to explore the variety of jobs in earth science, education and protection."
For many students, the Ticket to Ride field trip will be their first visit to a national park. Recognizing that once in the parks a world of experiential learning opens up, the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service are dedicated to providing this critical access to our national treasures. Through these field trips, 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
In addition to the grant, Disney's Friends for Change - a program that inspires kids and families to make a positive impact on their world by helping people and the planet - developed a public service announcement (PSA) that will air on Disney Channel and Disney Online. The spot encourages kids and families to explore the outdoors, whether at a local, state, or national park. Disney Friends for Change also created an online action kit (disney.com/friends) that helps families plan a park visit in four easy steps and provides ideas on park activities ranging from hikes to wildlife exploration.
For more information about Ticket to Ride, corporate partners and ways to support this and the other exceptional National Park Foundation programs, go to www.nationalparks.org.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world's most treasured memorials, landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites -- all protected in America's more than 400 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America's national parks. We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow. Join us in supporting your national parks -- this is your land. www.nationalparks.org.