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Contact: Theresa Jung, 973 736-0550 x50
Thomas Edison National Historical Park Announces Partner Projects
NPS Centennial Challenge Program is Matching $20 Million in Congressional Funding with $33 Million from Partner Organizations to Support Projects at National Parks
WEST ORANGE, NJ -- On July 22, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that the National Park Service is teaming up with partners across the nation to distribute more than $50 million in high priority maintenance and infrastructure projects at 42 parks in 29 states, including two projects at Thomas Edison National Historical Park (NHP):
Working with the Thomas A. Edison Papers Project at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, the park will preserve and improve accessibility to the Edison Archives in West Orange. The funding for this project will be matched by Rutgers.
The historic line shafts in the heavy machine shop in Edison’s West Orange Laboratory will also be repaired for safe operation, with funds matched by The Friends of Thomas Edison NHP, Inc.
“These projects show some of the many ways that Thomas Edison National Historical Park is working closely with our partners to ensure that our visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience,” said park superintendent Thomas E. Ross.
Congress provided $20 million for the projects as part of the Centennial Challenge program which will be matched by $33 million from more than 50 park partners to improve trails, restore buildings, and increase visitor access to parks.
“Our national parks span twelve time zones and attract more than 330 million visitors every year. This puts an incredible stress on the aging infrastructure at our parks and thanks to Centennial Challenge Grants and the generosity of public-private partners, we are able to distribute funds to rebuild our parks,” said Secretary Zinke. “Using public-private partnerships to help address the deferred maintenance backlog remains a priority for the Department and the Trump Administration. Park infrastructure includes trails, signage, restrooms, lodges, roads, bridges and waterlines. These funds will help us continue to provide a world-class experience to visitors and ensure that these amazing places are around for future generations.”
“Many of the national parks that Americans treasure today would simply not exist without the strong partnerships and philanthropy that have benefited the national park idea for over a century,” said Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds. “The Centennial Challenge program continues that proud tradition by matching dollars from Congress with generous donations from dedicated partners to make high-impact improvements in parks.”
Since 2015 the National Park Service has leveraged over $45 million in funding from congress through the Centennial Challenge program to attract more than $77 million from partner organizations to support over hundreds of projects across the country that have improved visitor services and strengthened partnerships to reinvigorate national parks.
For a complete list of centennial challenge projects and partners please visit http://www.nps.gov/subjects/centennial/nps-centennial-challenge-projects.htm
About Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Thomas Edison National Historical Park is a National Park Service site dedicated to promoting an international understanding and appreciation of the life and extraordinary achievements of Thomas Alva Edison by preserving, protecting, and interpreting the Park’s extensive historic artifact and archive collections at the Edison Laboratory Complex and Glenmont, the Edison family estate. The Visitor Center is located at 211 Main Street in West Orange, New Jersey. For more information call 973-736-0550 ext. 11 or visit: www.nps.gov/edis
About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.