DC Area National Parks Receive America's Best Idea Grant from the National Park Foundation

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Date: December 8, 2014
Contact: Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, 202-619-7177
Contact: Alanna Sobel, 202-354-6486

The National Park Service (NPS), National Capital Region Office is one of 39 recipients of a 2014 America's Best Idea grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks.

The Fly By Light: Discover Your True Nature program is a pilot partnership with national parks in the Greater Washington Area and One Common Unity, a non-profit that seeks to improve life outcomes for at risk youth in Washington, D.C. by providing quality and comprehensive social, emotional, and creative arts learning programming and wilderness immersion. Through a series of after-school workshops and retreats to national parks, participants develop self-esteem by learning skills to become responsible, emotionally literate adults and environmental stewards.

"We are thrilled to receive the National Park Foundation's America's Best Idea grant. The grant provides invaluable resources for national parks in the Greater Washington Area to work with more urban youth and connect them to national parks in their backyard," acting National Capital Regional Director Lisa Mendelson-Ielmini said.

Throughout the year, 67 urban youth participated in the pilot program at Meridian Hill Park, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, Catoctin Mountain Park, Fort Reno Park, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Theodore Roosevelt Island and Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

Inspired by Ken Burns' critically acclaimed documentary "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," the program builds partnerships between national parks and community, state and other organizations, and engages diverse audiences in meaningful and relevant ways with national parks and inspires participants to enjoy and to become stewards of their national park system.

For more information about other recipients of the America's Best Idea project and descriptions of these projects, visit the National Park Foundation website.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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