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Contact: Superintendent Jeff Mow, (907) 224-7500
(Seward. Alaska) – Funded jointly by the National Park Service and Alaska Geographic, a number of facility improvements in the Exit Glacier area will occur. The centerpiece of the improvements is an education pavilion adjacent to the Exit Glacier Nature Center which will provide a staging area for educational groups and programs. Construction on the project is due to begin in the summer of 2009.
According to park superintendent Jeff Mow, "walking out to view Exit Glacier and feeling the catabatic winds off the Harding Icefield is one of the outstanding visitor experiences in the State of Alaska. Completion of interpretive exhibits in the Exit Glacier Nature Center will enhance that experience by improving visitor understanding and appreciation of Kenai Fjords National Park. Completing the Education Pavilion will help us to reach out and welcome the thousands of schoolchildren that come to the Exit Glacier each year. We will be increasing visitor safety by relocating the picnic area and showcasing sustainable design through the development of renewable energy sources for our park operations."
National Park Service Director Mary A. Bomar said, “In these economic times, creative efforts like the Centennial Challenge provide a great return on investment for both the American taxpayer and the philanthropic community. Where else can you be guaranteed to double your money?”
Congress approved $10 million for Centennial Challenge projects and programs for the current fiscal year and park partners brought another $17 million for a total of $27 million in projects and programs at nine national park units in nine states and the District of Columbia.
Upon hearing the announcement, Charley Money, Executive Director of Alaska Geographic remarked, “As the educational nonprofit partner to Alaska’s parks, forests and refuges, we are proud to support this extremely worthwhile project to enhance visitor enjoyment of one of Alaska’s most accessible National Parks”
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, America invites the world to discover the meaning of national parks.
- What parks mean in people’s lives.
- What inspires people to experience parks
- What inspires people to become devoted to these special places
The National Park Centennial Initiative provides a framework for the National Park Service to engage the public in its mission. Its goals and strategies will embrace new constituents and gain support from a broad array of public and private partners to ensure America’s national parks continue to thrive into the next 100 years.
Centennial Challenge projects and programs for 2009 are:
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Improve Exit Glacier visitor facilities
$100,000 – Alaska Geographic; $100,000 – Centennial Challenge
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Add transportation gateway and exhibits in the Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark
$50,000 – Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation, Inc.; $50,000 – Centennial Challenge
Haleakala National Park, Hawaii
Remove and control invasive species and restore rare and endangered plants
$600,000 – Maui Invasive Species Committee; $600,000 – Centennial Challenge
Independence National Historical Park, Pennsylvania
Rehabilitate the Ben Franklin Museum at Franklin Court
$12,000,000 – The Pew Charitable Trusts; $6,000,000 – Centennial Challenge
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana
BioBlitz! Conduct an all-taxa biodiversity inventory
$150,000 – National Geographic Society; $150,000 – Centennial Challenge
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, Missouri
Replace the Arch tram operating system
$185,000 – Metro Business Enterprises; $185,000 – Centennial Challenge
National Capital Parks – East, Washington, D.C.
Expand “Bridging the Watershed” environmental education program
$200,000 – Alice Ferguson Foundation; $200,000 – Centennial Challenge
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, California
Rehabilitate Gillette Ranch building as a visitor center
$2,640,000 – Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority; $2,640,000 – Centennial Challenge
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho
Conduct molecular all-taxa biodiversity inventory for Yellowstone Lake
$500,000 – Yellowstone Park Foundation; $500,000 – Centennial Challenge
For complete information about the initiative, more details on the 2009 Centennial Challenge projects and programs or to download a Centennial Initiative 2008 Progress Report, please visit www.nps.gov/2016.