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Contact: Christy Fleming, 307-548-5406
Contact: Alanna Sobel, (202) 354-6486
Bighorn Canyon is one of 22 national parks across the country selected to receive a 2013 Active Trails grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks. Now in its fifth year, the Active Trails program supports hands-on projects that encourage the public to lead healthy lives by actively engaging in trail work, special events and community activities that help restore, protect and/or create land and water trails across the country.
"Through the Active Trails program, we are able to help national parks across the country in their efforts to maintain and enhance the 17,000 miles of land and water trails that we currently have," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "These grants also help national parks create new trails and encourage healthy lifestyles by offering opportunities for the public to be active in their national parks."
Bighorn Canyon will kick-off their Small Boats, Big Canyon Waterways Trail program during the annual Bighorn Lake Celebration on July 6, 2013. With the help of Northwest College Outdoor Recreation program and volunteer Steve Keil, Bighorn Canyon staff will be able to design backcountry camping maps, train park staff, and develop canoe and kayak lake interpretive tours lead by park staff. Special programs will also be available for youth groups.
"We are excited to start this program," said Christy Fleming, Chief of Interpretation. "Canoe and kayak outings will allow many local residents, visitors passing through, and NWC students the opportunity to experience the Canyon from the water. It is also a fun way to encourage people to try new healthy activities that have the potential to inspire life-long changes to their health. "
Since 2008, the National Park Foundation has granted nearly $1.7 million through its Active Trails program. To date, Active Trails has engaged more than 4,700 volunteers and 131 project partners who combined have contributed more than 21,000 hours to help promote, refurbish or build national park trails that were ultimately enjoyed by 304,000 visitors (and counting!).
"National park trails are simply invaluable. They provide venues for outdoor recreation, promote enjoyment of outdoor areas, support local economies, and so much more," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "Thanks to these grants, we will be able to encourage even greater visitor involvement in our trails with new projects, events and volunteer opportunities."
The 2013 Active Trails Grantees include:
Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
Buffalo National River, Arkansas
Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Oklahoma
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Pennsylvania
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Gulf Islands National Seashore, Mississippi and Florida
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, Tennessee
North Country National Scenic Trail, Minnesota
Ocmulgee National Monument, Georgia
Point Reyes National Seashore, California
Russell Cave National Monument, Alabama
Saguaro National Park, Arizona
Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
A listing of these parks and their Active Trails project descriptions can be found on the National Park Foundation website.
ABOUT BIGHORN CANYON
The Yellowtail Dam near Ft. Smith Montana, creates the 72 mile long Bighorn Lake. Approximately 58 miles of the lake are surrounded by the 1000 to 2500 foot cliffs of Bighorn Canyon. Peregrine falcons and bighorn sheep make their homes on the near vertical canyon walls. Along the park road visitors enjoy several scenic overlooks and hiking trails, but to truly experience the depth of the canyon visitors, need to see it from the lake.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, raises private funds that directly aid, support and enrich America's more than 400 national parks and their programs. Chartered by Congress as the nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation plays a critical role in conservation and preservation efforts, establishing national parks as powerful learning environments, and giving all audiences an equal and abundant opportunity to experience, enjoy and support America's treasured places. www.nationalparks.org.
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