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Contact: Lauren Gurniewicz, 435-586-9451
The National Park Foundation and the First Bloom program are currently sponsoring a garden design contest for program participants. First Bloom participants from the Cedar City area have submitted a garden design that represents a scattering of seeds in an area near the Cedar Breaks National Monument Visitor Center that was overgrown with an invasive grass. The seeds were gathered last fall from the surrounding area. The First Bloom group with the winning design will have an opportunity to take an overnight trip to a National Park.
To support local First Bloom participants, log on to www.first-bloom.org and vote for the Cedar City garden design. Online voting is open through May 28.
Southern Utah University, The Water Conservancy District, Cedar City Leisure Services, and Cedar Breaks National Monument have partnered with the National Park Foundation to sponsor First Bloom activities in the Cedar City area, providing an innovative conservation program that teaches youth about restoring native habitats.
First Bloom connects kids between 4th and 6th grades to nature and national parks. The nationwide program is currently taking place in 26 national parks, including Cedar Breaks, in partnership with 31 youth groups across the country. Participants have met with park rangers monthly over the one year program, which runs through August. The First Bloom experience ends with the planting of a native landscape at a national park. That landscape is a lasting connection for those youth, a transferable experience, and a feature that all future visitors to the park will enjoy. Area youth from Cedar City Elementary schools will plant gardens of native plant species in several locations throughout Cedar City.
“The young people that have been a part of First Bloom at Cedar Breaks have learned and grown tremendously,” said Park Ranger Nancy Montoya. “Our park has really valued the participant’s enthusiasm and hard work as we have designed and planned this native garden”.
First Bloom programs around the nation are generously supported by the UPS Foundation, ARAMARK Parks and Recreation, and gifts from private donors and foundations.