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Contact: Amy Vanderbilt, 406 888-5838
Contact: Wade Muehlhof, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier National Park announced today the launch of an innovative new project; Glacier in Focus, part of a national program: The Stewart L. Udall Parks in Focus. The project is the result of a National Park Foundation Grant. Parks in Focus gives young environmental leaders (Udall scholarship alumni) the opportunity to pass on their knowledge and love of the outdoors to children who might never have seen a national park or spent time exploring a wilderness area.
The Glacier in Focus grant provides funding for 12 underserved youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Missoula to camp in Glacier National Park from July 26-30, 2010. It also provides digital cameras for the young participants to use and keep, trip transportation and supplies, as well as funding for the Udall Foundation to train leaders to execute an active, week-long, learning-intensive outing to explore the national park. The youth will keep a journal along with taking pictures. A slide show will be developed for participants and their families.
Glacier Superintendent Chas Cartwright says, “This is a great opportunity to use digital technology to encourage children to explore the great outdoors and become future stewards of our public lands.”
A Glacier National Park education ranger visited the Missoula Boys and Girls club during National Park Week in April and talked with children and staff about the trip and the significant resources in Glacier. The Missoula Boys and Girls Club staff then selected the participants from children who had applied. Education rangers will meet with the group while they are in Glacier and provide support for the children to participate in the park's Junior Ranger Program.
The Steward L. Udall Foundation's Parks in Focus program is designed to foster a passion and commitment for the nation's natural resources in the next generation. By working with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the program's goal is to bring underserved youth into parks and to provide opportunities for them to develop personal relationships with the sites they visit and by introducing club members to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the country through the art of photography.
This is the 11th year that the Udall Foundation has hosted a Parks in Focus trip, but the first time it has hosted a Montana trip. Glacier in Focus is conducted in partnership with the Udall Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of Missoula thanks to an America's Best Idea grant that the National Park Service at Glacier received from the National Park Foundation.
Inspired by the epic Ken Burns documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, the National Park Foundation, in partnership with Unilever, has awarded America’s Best Idea grants totaling roughly half a million dollars to 33 national parks across the country. “As stewards of the parks, there is nothing more important than connecting our communities and young people to these treasured places,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation.
- NPS -