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Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393
Grand Teton National Park is one of 37 national parks selected to receive a 2014 Active Trails grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks. Now in its sixth year, the Foundation's Active Trails program supports healthy living by getting people out and active in their national parks through projects that help restore, protect, and/or create land and water trails across America. Since 2008, the National Park Foundation has granted nearly $2.4 million through its Active Trails program.
"Through the Active Trails program, people across the country are connecting with their national parks, discovering more ways to lead active and healthy lives, and giving back to the places they love," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "These grants are critical to helping with ongoing efforts to maintain and enhance the 17,000 miles of trails across the National Park System."
Grand Teton National Park will partner again this year with St. John's Medical Center (SJMC) to encourage Jackson Hole community members to get active and outside in support of the Active Trails initiative. Last year, local participants logged an astounding 3,887 hours of outdoor activities on park trails between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. SJMC's Wellness Department and Grand Teton are both interested in using the extraordinary Teton landscape to motivate people of all walks of life to pursue healthier lifestyles. In 2013, more than a quarter of the Active Trails participants were non-traditional park visitors.
The SJMC/Grand Teton partnership supports an online tracking portal where participants can log their park-based activities, and those logging into the portal are automatically entered in a lottery to win a grand prize. "The portal allows participants to accurately track their activities and energy expenditure while setting personal wellness goals. We've found that people particularly enjoy creating their own teams and competing with each other," said Julia Heemstra, director of the SJMC Wellness Department.
This year, Active Trails Wellness will run from June 1—September 30. "The Community Hikes were an especially fun way for participants to enjoy the Teton landscape during 2013, so we've extended the 2014 program into September to include a fall color hike," said Megan Kohli, Grand Teton's program manager for educational outreach.
To register as a participant in Active Trails Wellness program go to www.sjmcwellness.com and create an account. Use the access code AT2014 to create an Active Trails account. Community Hikes will happen on the third Thursday of each month as extra incentive to connect participants to each other and the park's beauty.
To date, Active Trails has engaged more than 5,900 volunteers and 327 project partners who contributed more than 30,000 hours to promote, refurbish or build national park trails that were ultimately enjoyed by 331,000 visitors. A complete listing of the awarded parks and their Active Trails project descriptions can be found on the National Park Foundation's website at www.nationalparks.org.
The National Park Foundation wishes to thank The Coca-Cola Company, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Disney, Subaru and the Scrooby Foundation for their generous support of the Active Trails initiative. Grand Teton Association and local corporate partners also contribute to the success of this fun and engaging program.
For more information about Active Trails Wellness please contact Megan Kohli at Grand Teton National Park by phone at 307.739.3656; or contact Julia Heemstra, St. John's Medical Center Wellness Director by email email@example.com, phone at 307.739.7244.