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Contact: Jennie Albrinck, 605-433-5240
Badlands has been selected as one of 49 national parks participating in the 2012 America's Best Idea program sponsored by 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 grant program funds park projects designed to connect diverse, under-engaged populations throughout the United States with their national parks in innovative and meaningful ways.
"We are proud to provide the much needed support to create unique opportunities for all Americans to personally connect with their national parks," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "The America's Best Idea grants are often the catalyst for extraordinary experiences that develop into lifelong relationships with our national parks for the program participants."
The funded project at Badlands National Park includes the upcoming Astronomy Festival, August 17-19. The festival will include scientific lectures, keynote speakers, workshops, and night sky viewing. It will bring together space science professionals and enthusiasts, local community members, and visitors.
Park Superintendent Eric Brunnemann notes, "The Astronomy Festival will allow Badlands National Park to partner with local communities and sister agencies as we recognize and celebrate natural darkness. In the spirit of A Call to Action, Director Jon Jarvis' vision for the Service's next 100 years, he identifies our 'Starry, Starry Night' as an resource worthy of protection for future generations of Americans."
For a full listing of participating parks and program descriptions, please visit the National Park Foundation website.
The National Park Foundation and Badlands National Park wish to thank L.L. Bean, DISNEY, the Anschutz Foundation, and the Ahmanson Foundationfor their generous support of the America's Best Idea program.
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 nearly 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