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Contact: Christiana Admiral, 928-608-6351
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is one of 113 national parks selected to receive a 2015 field trip grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks. Grant funds are being used towards providing transportation by boat for approximately 200 local fourth grade students through Glen Canyon National Recreation Area to visit Rainbow Bridge National Monument. The project is being completed through partnerships between Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Desert View Elementary, Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas, and the Glen Canyon Natural History Association.
The boat ride to Rainbow Bridge National Monument will serve as the grand finale of a year-long educational partnership between Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Desert View Elementary School, entitled "Bridging the Gap." Fourth grade students will participate in ranger-led, classroom-based activities throughout the 2015-2016 school year in order to prepare for the field trip. The majority of students in this Title 1 school are members of the Native American tribes that consider Rainbow Bridge to be a sacred site. They will have the opportunity to explore their cultural connections through participation in hands-on natural and cultural resource-based learning activities. Rangers have already begun presenting the first of several classroom-based activities for the students.
"We serve many people but our favorite customers are kids, especially those in our neighborhood. We are excited to provide this opportunity to local students who might not otherwise be able to visit Rainbow Bridge National Monument," said Acting Glen Canyon Superintendent, Billy Shott. "It is our hope that the experience is fun and meaningful…so much so that the students are motivated to seek out opportunities to explore the national parks and public lands surrounding our community."
The project would not be possible without the generous support of local partners Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas and the Glen Canyon Natural History Association. Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas is graciously providing their tour boats and crew at a greatly reduced rate for the field trip. The Glen Canyon Natural History Association is providing additional financial and logistical support for the project.
"We are delighted to partner with the National Park Foundation on the Bridging the Gap program to provide over 200 local fourth graders with an opportunity to experience the wonder of Lake Powell and Rainbow Bridge," said Scott Mcginn, vice president of operations for Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas. "We firmly believe in the importance of educating children about the history of our national parks and want to encourage them to experience all our parks have to offer."
"Connecting America's youth to the historical assets on our public lands is inspiring work," said Glen Canyon Natural History Association Director, Karen Dallett. "Glen Canyon NHA sees this program as an important piece of our mission."
As part of the National Park Foundation's Open OutDoors for Kids program, this grant (funded in part by Disney) provides funding for materials and logistics to make national park field trips, citizen science projects, Junior Ranger activities, experiential learning opportunities, and more possible.
Including this year's grantees, National Park Foundation grants have made it possible for more than 300,000 students to visit national parks.
"Through programs like Open OutDoors for Kids and the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement, we are creating the next generation of park stewards, connecting youth across the country to these special places and inspiring their natural curiosity and love for them," said Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "We are grateful to all of our partners, including Disney, that make such programs possible and help more people find their park."
"By sharing parks with kids at such a young age, we're building a strong generation of park stewards who will care for and protect these treasured places into the next 100 years,"said Jonathan B. Jarvis, director of the National Park Service. "Thanks to our philanthropic partner, the National Park Foundation, we're able to strengthen and enrich our parks through the lasting bond these experiences foster."
For the full list of park grantees, and their projects, visit www.nationalparks.org/ticket-
Since 2014, Disney has been the lead sponsor of Open OutDoors for Kids, helping youth experience a national park, many of them for the first time.ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 409 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at: www.nps.gov.
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 www.nationalparks.org.