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Contact: Vickie Carson, 270-758-2192
Mammoth Cave National Park is one of 22 national parks across the country selected to receive a 2013 Active Trails grant from the National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charity of America's national parks. Now in its fifth year, the Active Trails program supports hands-on projects that encourage the public to lead healthy lives by actively engaging in trail work, special events and community activities that help restore, protect and/or create land and water trails across the country.
"Through the Active Trails program, we are able to help national parks across the country in their efforts to maintain and enhance the 17,000 miles of land and water trails that we currently have," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "These grants also help national parks create new trails and encourage healthy lifestyles by offering opportunities for the public to be active in their national parks."
Mammoth Cave will use the $15,000 NPF grant to initiate its Fitness, Fun and Service program, designed to get hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders actively involved in using and helping maintain the Park trails. Trail users are invited to participate in five volunteer workdays (May 18, June 1, August 31, October 26, and November 16) to assist the Park staff with trailside trimming, trail rehabilitation, and erosion control. Tools and supplies for the workdays are supplied by NPF. Those interested in participating may contact Natural Resource Specialist Larry Johnson at 270-758-2150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"It makes sense that the best stewards of our trail would be the people who use them, working to protect and maintain them for future use," said Superintendent Sarah Craighead. "The National Park Foundation has been a great friend and supporter of Mammoth Cave in the past. This grant will now help us promote healthy outdoor recreation and proper use and care of our trails so they will be in good condition for years to come."
Mammoth Cave has benefitted from the NPF in the past: 1993, NPF provided funding for the EARTHWATCH 12-year volunteer project, where artifacts along three miles of Mammoth Cave were inventoried and cataloged; 1997, NPF provided funding and materials for the boardwalk around Sloan's Pond; 2002, NPF donated photography equipment to the park; and 2004, NPF funded construction of the low bridges on the Mammoth Cave RR Bike and Hike Trail.
"National park trails are simply invaluable. They provide venues for outdoor recreation, promote enjoyment of outdoor areas, support local economies, and so much more," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "Thanks to these grants, we will be able to encourage even greater visitor involvement in our trails with new projects, events and volunteer opportunities."
A listing of all the parks and their Active Trails project descriptions can be found on the National Park Foundation website at www.nationalparks.org