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Contact: Debra Mills, 301-663-9388
Catoctin Mountain Park and National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, announced today a new native garden will be planted in conjunction with Robert Moton Elementary from Westminister, Maryland as part of its participation in the 2010/2011 First Bloom program.
Now in its fourth program year, the National Park Foundation’s First Bloom initiative provides an opportunity for fourth to sixth grade students across the country to engage with their local national parks and historic sites. The participating youth groups and organizations have the chance to learn, hands-on, about the environment in a living classroom: the national parks.
This unique educational experience includes several workshops and hands-on activities led by park rangers. The project culminates in a competition where each group will design and plant an indigenous garden in their local national park or community. Sponsored by ARAMARK, this groundbreaking program provides an enriching way for students to learn the importance of protecting the natural environment surrounding them.
This year, Robert Moton Elementary was selected to participate in the program with Catoctin Mountain Park. Since September 26, the students have been learning about invasive plants and the impact of human actions on the natural environment. Students from Robert Moton will break ground on their landscape design beginning at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, April 26. A short ceremony dedication ceremony will follow at 11:30.
Ultimately, the landscapes created by the students will be submitted to an online national competition where they will compete for a range of prizes. Winners will be selected via public vote at www.first-bloom.org. Public voting will run from April 15, 2011 to May 16, 2011.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. Chartered by Congress, the Foundation works hand in hand with the National Park Service to strengthen and connect all Americans to our parks, so they are protected for present and future generations. It is a legacy that began more than a century ago, when private citizens took action to first establish, then protect and endow our national parks. Today, the National Park Foundation carries on that tradition as the only national charitable partner for America’s national parks. To learn more visit www.nationalparks.org.
ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. The company is recognized as one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by the Ethisphere Institute, as the industry leader in FORTUNE magazine's "World's Most Admired Companies," and as one of America's Largest Private Companies by both FORTUNE and Forbes magazines. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 255,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at the company's Web site, www.aramark.com, or www.twitter.com/aramarknews.
Catoctin Mountain Park is one of 393 units administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. The park Visitor Center, located on State Route 77 three miles west of Thurmont, Maryland, is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Correspondence should be addressed to: Superintendent, Catoctin Mountain Park, 6602 Foxville Road, Thurmont, MD 21788. Our website address is www.nps.gov/cato. General information can be obtained by calling the Visitor Center at (301) 663-9388.