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Kennesaw Mountain News Release
Local National Park Sites Receives National Park Foundation Grant for Volunteer Capacity-Building
WASHINGTON (April 18, 2018) Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area and Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park have jointly received a National Park Foundation grant to strengthen their volunteer programs at each park, respectively. At Chattahoochee River NRA, funds will go towards hiring a longer term intern to assist with all aspects of their volunteer program. At Kennesaw Mountain NBP, funds will go towards purchasing more authentic Living History clothing and a full range of uniforms for park volunteer.
Bill Cox, park superintendent at Chattahoochee River NRA states, “These funds will go towards providing an internship opportunity for someone to assist in all aspects of our park’s volunteer management program, from recruitment to river and land-based cleanups to community events. Our volunteers are the heart of what we do to protect the Chattahoochee River, and their efforts allow us to operate more effectively and efficiently.
Nancy Walther, park superintendent at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park says, “We pride ourselves in the professional look of our volunteers, so we will now have a greater capacity to provide our volunteers standardized uniforms. Additionally, the park has been unable to purchase quality Living History due to funding, so this will allow us to “retire” certain pieces that are almost 40 years old. Our programming and the visitor services that we provide hinges on our volunteers, and we are so thankful for their commitment and dedication.
Hundreds of thousands of volunteers-in-parks (VIPs) serve alongside National Park Service (NPS) employees to help preserve America’s most precious natural, historical, recreational, and cultural treasures and to provide crucial services to the visitors who come to enjoy parks. The NPS works hand-in-hand with communities to engage people of all ages and backgrounds in meaningful and mutually beneficial volunteer opportunities.
The grant was made possible by a donation from American Express to the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks. The donation to the Foundation supports a total of seven grants to strengthen volunteer programs in national parks across the country.
“American Express’ passion for volunteerism continues to make a huge difference in the national parks community,” said National Park Foundation President Will Shafroth. “Capacity-building grants boost a park’s ability to reach, engage, and properly train more volunteers from diverse backgrounds.”
These grants complement the more than $13 million in funding American Express has provided to park-related causes since 2015. Funds have helped increase volunteerism, preserve sites within national parks, and encourage people of all backgrounds to rediscover their parks – particularly in urban areas. American Express is also a premier partner of the National Park Foundation for the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement.
“Since our founding in 1850, American Express has advocated for programs that promote community service and civic engagement,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. “National parks strengthen our communities, and we hope these grants will inspire the public to conserve and protect our public lands.”
ABOUT CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is a series of park lands along a 48-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River – a place rich in natural and human history each influenced by the river’s pervasive force – which protects not only the river, but also the natural, cultural, and scenic resources within the park’s boundaries.
ABOUT KENNESAW MOUNTAIN NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park preserves, protects, and interprets, for the benefit and inspiration of the people, the historical and natural features of this major battle site in the American Civil War’s 1864 Atlanta Campaign.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
Celebrating 50 years, 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 ENGAGE the next generation of park stewards. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.
ABOUT AMERICAN EXPRESS
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com.