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Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is one of 39 national park units selected to receive a 2014 America's Best Idea grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Grand Canyon Youth, and the Page High School UNITY Club will use this grant to connect Native American youth to their national parks by introducing youth to the ecology, geology, and recreational opportunities of the Colorado Plateau. Project participants will embark on an 8-day, 58-mile journey down the San Juan River and contribute to restoration of native plant species, desert bighorn sheep research, and learn about the area's geology. Project participants will experience the park's outdoor recreation opportunities by rafting flat and whitewater rivers, hiking up cliffs and canyons, and back-country camping along the beautiful San Juan River.
"It is an honor and a privilege to be selected to receive this grant. This is a great opportunity to inspire the next generation of land stewards and scientists, and prepare the National Park Service for a second century of public service," said Todd Brindle, Superintendent of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Inspired by Ken Burns' critically acclaimed documentary "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," this program builds partnerships between national parks and community, state, and other public organizations, and engages diverse audiences in meaningful and relevant ways with national parks and inspires participants to become stewards of our National Park System.
"The America's Best Idea program connects people – particularly youth – to America's national parks, often for the first time," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "Through meaningful and memorable in-park experiences that highlight the natural, cultural, and historical treasures in our National Park System, we are able to inspire the next generation of park-goers."
"We want everyone to find themselves in a national park," said Jonathan B. Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service. "These National Park Foundation grants will help people acquire a better understanding of their national parks and, hopefully, of themselves, through place-based learning and recreational activities. Native Americans who will visit traditional homelands, budding scientists who will study environmental impacts, and students from Gallaudet University who will examine aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act are among the many groups which will benefit from the grants."
The National Park Foundation wishes to thank The Ahmanson Foundation, Chapman Hanson Foundation, the Fernandez Pave the Way Foundation, and Subaru for their generous support of the America's Best Idea program.
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.