NPS Chesapeake Bay Receives Active Trails Grant

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Date: December 16, 2014
Contact: Cindy Chance, 410-260-2492
Contact: Alanna Sobel, 202-354-6486

National Park Service Chesapeake Bay was one of 37 national parks selected to receive a 2014 Active Trails grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks. Now in its sixth year, the Active Trails program supports healthy living by getting people out and active in national parks through projects that help restore, protect, and/or create land and water trails across the country. These projects include hands-on learning, hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, volunteering, and more.

With this funding, the National Park Service (NPS) Chesapeake Bay worked with partners to create the All-Sensory Trail at Maryland's Patapsco Valley State Park. The state park is a partner site along the Star Spangled Banner and Captain John Smith Chesapeake national historic trails. The completed project, a half-mile ADA universally accessible trail, enables visitors of all abilities to actively engage multiple senses through a series of interactive natural experiences. This includes interpretive signage in Braille, tactile gardens, wind chimes and drums to play with, and trailside birdhouses to attract songbirds. Participants in the Chesapeake Youth Corps program assisted the park manager with the project. Students at the Maryland School for the Blind visited the trail during the project to make recommendations for trail refinements.

"This grant helps our partners create an innovative, family trail project that improves the quality of life for people", said NPS Chesapeake Bay Superintendent Chuck Hunt. "Plus, the project employed underserved youth in the Chesapeake Youth Corps program and resulted in better recreational services for community members with disabilities."

Since 2008, the National Park Foundation has granted nearly $2.4 million through its Active Trails program.To date, Active Trails has engaged more than 5,900 volunteers and 327 project partners who combined have contributed more than 30,000 hours to help promote, refurbish or build national park trails that were ultimately enjoyed by 331,000 visitors.

"The National Park Foundation's Active Trails program provides vital funding that supports our national parks as centers of healthy outdoor activity for families and communities across the nation," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "The land and water trails maintained by the National Park Service invite visitors to explore natural and cultural beauty, and these grants will expand these great opportunities to even more visitors."

The National Park Foundation wishes to thank The Coca-Cola Company, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Disney, the Scrooby Foundation, and Subaru for their generous support of the Active Trails program.

The 2014 Active Trails grantees include:

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area

Assateague Island National Seashore

Baltimore National Heritage Area

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Booker T. Washington National Monument

Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area

Buffalo National River

Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area

Cane River Creole National Historical Park

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

Essex National Heritage Area

Flagstaff Area National Monuments

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

Fort Stanwix National Monument

Gateway National Recreation Area

Grand Teton National Park

Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site

Kings Mountain National Military Park

Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office

Nez Perce National Historical Park

Olympic National Park

Oregon National Historic Trail and California National Historic Trail

Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

River Raisin National Battlefield Park

Rock Creek Park

Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway

Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Sequoia &Kings Canyon National Parks

Timpanogos Cave National Monument

Wheeling National Heritage Area

A listing of these parks and their Active Trails project descriptions can be found on the National Park Foundation website.

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 on the National Park Service, please visit www.nps.gov.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at: www.nps.gov.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION

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 INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.

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