Centennial Project Will Highlight Elwha Restoration Education

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Date: May 13, 2008
Contact: Barb Maynes, Olympic National Park, 360-565-3005
Contact: Eleanor Kittelson, Washington's National Park Fund, 206-770-0627

Exhibits, brochures and ranger-led programs will inform and engage students and the public about Elwha Ecosystem Restoration, thanks to a $55,000 donation from the Washington’s National Park Fund and a matching Centennial Challenge grant from the National Park System.

“Removal of the two Elwha River dams and restoration of the river and ecosystem present a unique and powerful opportunity for education,” said Olympic National Park Acting Superintendent Sue McGill. “Thanks to the Washington’s National Park Fund’s generous donation and matching funds from the Centennial Initiative, we are on our way to developing a comprehensive education program about this important project.”

National Park Service Director Mary A. Bomar said, “With the nearly $25 million Congress has appropriated and nearly $27 million of matching commitments from our park partners, the Centennial Initiative today moves onto the landscape and into people’s lives. It’s a great day for the National Park Service and a great day for students, teachers and Olympic National Park.”

The National Park Centennial Initiative is a 10-year program to reinvigorate America’s national parks and prepare them for a second century. The initiative includes a focus on increased funding for park operations plus a President’s Challenge: up to $100 million a year in federal funds to match $100 million a year in philanthropic donations to the National Park Service.

Matched with the donation from Washington’s National Park Fund, the Centennial Initiative grant awarded today to Olympic National Park will develop a detailed and comprehensive multi-year Elwha education plan to produce a wide variety of programs and materials for the public. These will include outdoor wayside exhibits along the Elwha River, a full-color informational brochure about Elwha Restoration, ranger-led education programs for visitors and Olympic Peninsula students, web-based materials including videos, webcams and podcasts and a traveling exhibit.

“Washington’s National Park Fund is pleased to partner with Olympic National Park in obtaining private, philanthropic support for this important project,” said Eleanor Kittelson, Executive Director. “The National Park Centennial Initiative is an outstanding opportunity to focus public attention on the magnificent parks in Washington State.”

Washington’s National Park Fund is the official philanthropic partner for Olympic National Park with a mission to raise significant private support to increase the public’s love for, understanding of and experiences in the park. The Fund works to ensure that all Washington’s national parks – Olympic, North Cascades and Mount Rainier – remain vital to our lives and the health of our planet forever.

More information about Washington’s National Park Fund is available on-line at www.wnpf.org. Washingtonians can also show their support by purchasing the special National Park license plate, available for automobiles, motorcycles and trailers. Washington's National Park Fund receives $28 from the sale of each license plate to directly support the parks. Click the License Plate link at www.wnpf.org or visit the Washington State Department of Licensing web site for complete instructions and to download forms.

Washington’s National Park Fund is also helping to fund two other Centennial Challenge projects in Washington this year:

•    Installation of solar panels at Mount Rainier National Park’s Ohanapecosh Ranger Station to offset rising electrical costs by using a 10kW grid-connected solar array to generate electricity. The Washington’s National Park Fund is providing $50,000 in matching funds for this project.

•    Creation of a Junior Ranger Program at North Cascades National Park to improve learning opportunities available for families. A new series of Junior Ranger activity booklets will engage the entire family, provide fun learning opportunities, and create lasting memories; $11,500 in matching funds has been provided by Washington’s National Park Fund.

For a complete list of the 2008 National Park Service Centennial Challenge projects and programs please visit www.nps.gov/2016.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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