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Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725
Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and California Congresswoman Lois Capps will join 92 fourth grade students and their teachers from Grace Thille Elementary School in Santa Paula as they visit Channel Islands National Park.
The students' trip is part of the Every Kid in a Park (EKIP) initiative launched last year by President Obama to get children outdoors to enable our next generation to experience America's treasures.
The EKIP initiative grants fourth graders across the country and their families free entry to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks, wildlife refuges, and national forests.
The trip for the Santa Paula students is fully funded by a grant provided by the National Park Foundation with support by Channel Islands Park Foundation.
The Secretary and Congresswoman will provide each student with a free EKIP entry pass during their visit to Santa Cruz Island. On the trip the students will identify plant and animal species as they learn about the recovery of the endangered island fox and efforts to restore the island ecosystem. They will also become Junior Rangers as part of this opportunity.
"It is inspiring to see the National Park Foundation, the Channel Islands Park Foundation and many other partners step up to support our goal of getting fourth graders and their families to explore public lands that belong to all Americans," said Jewell. "These generous grants will ensure children in California and across the country have an opportunity to experience the great outdoors in their community while developing a lifelong connection to our nation's land, water and wildlife."
"This visit to the Channel Islands will hopefully inspire these students to have a sense of stewardship for their national park," said Congresswoman Capps. "Our islands are natural labs for students to experience inquiry-rich science learning."
This year's EKIP grants provide nearly 2,000 Ventura County students field trips to the park visitor center and park islands. The National Park Trust, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Trust Fund, and Channel Islands Park Foundation are collaborating together for the next school year's EKIP grants which will support field trips to the park visitor center for nearly every fourth grader in Ventura County.
The EKIP initiative helps the National Park Service to reach its Centennial goal, to connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates. The 410 sites in our National Park System protect some of the most magnificent landscapes and important ecosystems in our country, as well as preserve the very fabric of American history and culture.
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 nationalparks.org.
About Channel Islands Park Foundation
Formed in 2005, Channel Islands Park Foundation is the only non-profit, philanthropic partner of Channel Islands National Park. Recognizing the challenges of managing the complex island ecosystems and richly diverse cultural resources, the Foundation is committed to the ongoing work of Channel Islands National Park. In cooperation with the National Park, the Foundation funds education, protection and preservation efforts. For more information visit ciparkfoundation.org
About the NPS Centennial
For nearly 100 years national parks have protected the most significant places in America. They preserve our most outstanding scenery, wildlife, and habitat, and honor our most important historic events and people. The National Park Service (NPS) has a presence in every community in the United States. NPS manages and conserves 410 areas in the National Park System, more than 2,500 National Historic Landmarks, 7,500 Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance projects, and 42,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund projects.