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Contact: Nancy Murray, 202-245-4675
On July 22, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that the National Park Service is teaming up with partners across the nation to distribute more than $50 million in high priority maintenance and infrastructure projects at 42 parks in 29 states, including over $5.5 million for projects at National Mall and Memorial Parks. The funding for these projects at the Lincoln Memorial, Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, West Potomac Park and Mount Vernon Square. The matching funds are provided by philanthropist David M. Rubenstein (though the National Park Foundation), the Trust for the National Mall, and the Mount Vernon Triangle Downtown Business Improvement District.
Congress provided $20 million for the projects as part of the Centennial Challenge program which will be matched by $33 million from more than 50 park partners to improve trails, restore buildings, and increase visitor access to parks.
“Our national parks span twelve time zones and attract more than 330 million visitors every year. This puts an incredible stress on the aging infrastructure at our parks and thanks to Centennial Challenge Grants and the generosity of public-private partners, we are able to distribute funds to rebuild our parks,” said Secretary Zinke. “Using public-private partnerships to help address the deferred maintenance backlog remains a priority for the Department and the Trump Administration. Park infrastructure includes trails, signage, restrooms, lodges, roads, bridges and waterlines. These funds will help us continue to provide a world-class experience to visitors and ensure that these amazing places are around for future generations.”
“Many of the national parks that Americans treasure today would simply not exist without the strong partnerships and philanthropy that have benefited the national park idea for over a century,” said Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds. “The Centennial Challenge program continues that proud tradition by matching dollars from Congress with generous donations from dedicated partners to make high-impact improvements in parks.”
“These projects are one of the many ways National Mall and Memorial Parks is working closely with our partners to ensure that our visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience,” said Superintendent Gay Vietzke. “We look forward to using these funds to support the mission of the National Park Service and providing visitors with a learning experience while visiting the monuments, memorials and historic sites.”
Since 2015 the National Park Service has leveraged over $45 million in funding from congress through the Centennial Challenge program to attract more than $77 million from partner organizations to support over hundreds of projects across the country that have improved visitor services and strengthened partnerships to reinvigorate national parks.
For a complete list of centennial challenge projects and partners please visit http://www.nps.gov/subjects/centennial/nps-centennial-challenge-projects.htm
About National Mall and Memorial Parks
The National Park Service’s National Mall and Memorial Parks preserves, protects, and interprets the symbolic and monumental civic spaces and commemorative works in the center of the Nation’s Capital that honor American ideals and values, distinguished public figures, and military and civilian sacrifices and contributions. On the National Mall these sites include the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, World War II Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. National Mall and Memorial Parks also serves as a public park and open space for active civic and cultural engagement, recreation, and public enjoyment.
About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.