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Contact: Dave Bieri, 304-465-2516GLEN JEAN, WV- The National Park Service and Friends of New River Gorge National River are planning a series of projects this fall to show “love” to Bluestone National Scenic River. Community members are invited to sign up for volunteer events that will take place along the popular Bluestone Turnpike Trail. The project will kick off next Saturday, August 18 with a large trash sweep along the footpath and water trail. Volunteers will float trash down the river and win prizes for any trash treasures that they find. Volunteers of all ages and abilities are invited to attend. Reservations are required for the workdays and anyone attending should contact Adrienne Jenkins, Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304.465.2634.
Each upcoming event is part of a larger nation-wide “Love Your Park” initiative that invites all Americans to support parks through service. Two additional workdays are planned for September 15 and October 6. This initiative is part of the 50th anniversary of the National Trails and National Wild & Scenic Rivers Systems. To help celebrate, the National Park Foundation has awarded a grant to the National Parks of Southern West Virginia to build volunteer and partnership projects to foster a sense of ownership and stewardship of our parks through service. For more information on the projects and 50th anniversary celebration, visit www.nps.gov/blue.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for the local community to become acquainted with a beautiful, lesser known unit of their national park system situated right here in southern West Virginia” said Lizzie Watts, Superintendent of New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River, and Gauley River National Recreation Area. “For those who have already discovered and enjoyed this hidden gem, it is an opportunity to give back.”
Love Your Park grants demonstrate the impact of the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks. To date, this comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of America’s treasured national parks has raised more than $500 million in private donations from individuals, foundations, and companies. Have fun with your family, friends, and community while you give back! Together, we can keep our rivers and trails beautiful and vibrant for current and future generations.
National Park Foundation Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque partners The Coca-Cola Company and Nature Valley are proud to support this effort. Additional support comes from partners Niantic and Bandit Wines.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARKS OF SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA
Three units of the national park system collectively make up the National Parks of Southern West Virginia. New River Gorge National River protects 53 miles of the New River, one of the oldest rivers on the continent, and over 70,000 acres of one of the most biologically diverse river gorges in the Appalachian Mountains. Bluestone National Scenic River protects 10 miles of the free flowing, remote and tranquil Bluestone River and the 1,000 foot deep gorge that the river created. Twenty-five miles of the free-flowing Gauley River and six miles of the Meadow River and their scenic gorges make up Gauley River National Recreation Area, known for its world class whitewater. Together these three parks offer a multitude of recreational activities such as hiking, camping, whitewater rafting, climbing, biking, fishing, and hunting, as well as provide opportunities for exploration and inspiration. For information and tools to help plan a visit to New River Gorge National River, Gauley River National Recreation Area, or Bluestone National Scenic River, visit www.nps.gov/neri, www.nps.gov/gari, or www.nps.gov/blue.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
Celebrating 50 years, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and ENGAGE the next generation of park stewards. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.
ABOUT FRIENDS OF NEW RIVER GORGE NATIONAL RIVER
Friends of New River Gorge National River, in partnership with the National Park Service, strives to enhance, support, and promote New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River, and Gauley River National Recreational Area. For more information about Friends of New River Gorge National River, visit http://www.friendsofnrgnr.org/.