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Contact: Rudy Evenson, CRNRA Public Information Officer, 678-538-1241
Contact: Alanna Sobel, NPF, 202-354-6486
Sandy Springs, GA: Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) is one of five national parks across the country selected to participate in the 2014 Transportation Scholars program of the National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charity of America’s national parks.
Now in its 13th year, this program selects emerging transportation professionals to work side-by-side with National Park Service staff to find solutions that address the growing and unique transportation issues in America’s national parks, including visitor safety, traffic, pollution, and congestion.
“Our Transportation Scholars’ contributions to America’s national parks are invaluable. Their research and ideas help enhance visitor safety and accessibility, while simultaneously protecting America’s national treasures,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “Addressing these transportation needs is vital to the future of our national parks.”
“The work of the Transportation Scholars program is helping to improve the visitor experience and provide for the protection of the natural and cultural resources in our national parks,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Having creative solutions to transportation issues in our parks will become increasingly important as the National Park Service prepares to begin its second century of stewardship.”
At Chattahoochee River, the transportation scholar will help create a parkwide trail plan designed to connect the park’s 75 miles of trails with regional trail and transit systems. “This will be a significant planning effort,” said CRNRA Superintendent Bill Cox. “Trail connections are essential for this park to accomplish the mission that Congress set in its 1978 enabling legislation. That mission includes giving visitors a more sustainable national park experience that reduces contributions to air polluti0n or vehicular traffic.” Working with park volunteers and partner organizations, the Chattahoochee River transportation scholar will help develop maps and alternative routes to link individual units from Bowmans Island to Paces Mill along the park’s entire 48 miles of river. Expected to take three years to complete, the plan will take into account accessibility requirements, bicycle transit routes, and major new developments such as the relocation of the Atlanta Braves to Cobb County near the park’s Paces Mill unit.
The Transportation Scholars program model has proven so successful that the Transit in Parks Technical Assistance Center (TRIPTAC) launched a complementary program in 2011, expanding the program to other public lands. This extension, the TRIPTAC Public Lands Transportation Scholars Program, is based on the NPF program model and matches Transportation Scholars with other federal land management agencies. The two programs work together to train and mentor scholars with the shared goal of preserving our nation’s valuable natural, cultural, and historic resources and enhancing the visitor experience by implementing sustainable, alternative transportation in national parks and public lands.
Previous scholars’ work has resulted in fourteen million dollars in private and public funding to put the Transportation Scholars’ plans into action. Past scholars have gone on to careers with the National Park Service, the Federal Highway Administration, the Department of Transportation, and many private consulting agencies.
The National Park Foundation’s Transportation Scholars program is made possible, in part, through the support of CSX Transportation, Eno Center for Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Motorola Solutions Foundation, the National Park Service, and the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Technical Assistance Center.
For more information on the National Park Foundation and how you can support and protect America’s national parks, please visit www.nationalparks.org. For more information about the National Park Service, please visit www.nps.gov.
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