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Contact: Michael Feinstein, Golden Gate NRA, 415-561-4733
Contact: John Dell’Osso, Point Reyes NS, 415-464-5136
(San Francisco California, April 24, 2008) - Project funding has been made available by the Department of Interior for the Centennial Parks to People Initiative and for the new Institute at the Golden Gate at Fort Baker at Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). Funding has also been made available at Point Reyes National Seashore for the Ocean Protection Education Campaign Project, the Abbotts Lagoon Trail Enhancement Project and the Tomales Bay/Point Reyes All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory project. The funding at GGNRA will provide for interns, scholarships, accessibility equipment, buses, community festivals, and teacher training. At Point Reyes, the funds will provide for a traveling exhibit that will be placed at county offices, local universities, and Bay Area National Park visitor centers on threats to our ocean heritage, fisheries, and marine biodiversity.
GGNRA Superintendent Brian O'Neill and Point Reyes Superintendent Don Neubacher expressed gratitude at having their projects chosen from projects submitted by all national parks. These projects met the requirement that each park provide matching funds to the Congressional appropriations from friends groups and other national park supporters.
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 Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore."
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.
"This is how we put our Centennial goals on the ground and it's quite a beginning," Bomar said. "We have 110 programs and projects involving more than 130 individual, public and non-profit partners benefitting 76 national parks in 38 states and the District of Columbia."
At the Institute at the Golden Gate, expected to be in operation this year at Fort Baker, $50,000 will be spent for staffing, $20,000 for scholarships, $20,000 for marketing, and $10,000 for Institute staff time. As part of the Centennial Parks to People Initiative at GGNRA, $80,000 will be for AmeriCorps interns, $115,000 for staffing, and $110,000 for buses for education and outreach programs and events. At Golden Gate NRA, matching funds are being provided by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.
At Point Reyes National Seashore, $180,000 will be dedicated to the Ocean Protection Education Campaign Project to provide education and understanding of the significance of the ocean as a resource through travelling exhibits, publications, and lectures. Recreational trail enhancement including improvements at Abbotts Lagoon and North Beach areas of Point Reyes National Seashore will be funded by $100,000 with matching funds, and $120,000 will be dedicated to the Tomales Bay/Point Reyes All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory with matching funds by the Point Reyes National Seashore Association and a $40,000 grant from the California Department of Fish and Game. At Point Reyes, matching funds are being provided by the Point Reyes National Seashore Association and the Hollings Foundation.
Director Bomar said, "We really have to get cracking. Many of our parks have a short construction seasons for the brick and mortar and trail projects and our rangers will need to quickly integrate new programs for the rush of summer visitors who arrive in a few short months."
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.
Examples of Centennial Challenge programs and projects for 2008 elsewhere in the United Sates include:
- Nine national parks across the country will embark on a national effort to discover and catalog all plant and animal life in the national parks - technically speaking, they will conduct all taxa biologic inventories.
- Restoration of ancient redwood forest and watershed in Redwood National Park.
- New or expanded Junior Ranger programs at many national parks.
For a complete list of the 2008 National Park Service Centennial Challenge projects and programs please visit www.nps.gov/2016.
[For a media contact at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, call David Shaw at (415) 561-3064. For a media contact at the Point Reyes National Seashore Association, call Andrew Lowry at (415) 663-1200 ext. 302.]