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CONTACT: Emily Linroth, 202-619-7156
Donations leverage federal funding nearly 3-to-1
WASHINGTON—Rock Creek Park is about to get a $727,000 public-private funding boost for projects that improve visitor services and connect with new audiences. Partner organizations are contributing nearly $527,000 in cash and in-kind support to match more than $200,000 in federal investment. This funding is part of the Centennial Challenge, a national effort to help kick off the National Park Service's second century.
Partners and projects for Rock Creek Park include:
- Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy will provide funding and support to design and implement a stormwater management system to protect this unique historic landscape from erosion and potential impacts of climate change and create wildlife habitat.
- Rock Creek Conservancy and Casey Trees are contributing funding and volunteers to remove invasive plants and donating trees to plant along 5 acres of park land along the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway.
- City Kids Wilderness Project will conduct a Wilderness Explorers Program that gets urban youth out in parks in D.C. and takes them to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks over the summer.
"We're thrilled to work with our partners to enhance park experiences for visitors, inspire the next generation, and protect Rock Creek Park in ways we could not do on our own," Superintendent Tara Morrison said. "Building and leveraging partnership support is especially critical as we prepare national parks for a second century of service."
Funding for the projects is provided through the National Park Service's Centennial Challenge Program to leverage partnerships to improve visitor services, support outreach to new audiences, and reinvigorate national parks while forging connections with communities.
"Rock Creek Conservancy is eager to collaborate with the National Park Service as we undertake this important endeavor as part of the Centennial year," Executive Director Matthew Fleischer said. "Partnerships such as this are essential in advancing the vision of Rock Creek Park and protecting its future as a wild national park in the heart of our nation's capital."
"Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy is honored to meet the Centennial Challenge with the National Park Service," President Lindsey Milstein said. "It is our privilege to invest in a project that will protect this Farrand-designed, exceptionally beautiful landscape. The environmental stewardship and habitat restoration work we will engage in serves to increase a connection to this special place for all to enjoy—there could be nothing more gratifying."
"We are thrilled to partner with the National Park Service to connect youth and families with powerful wilderness experiences, both at our home park of Rock Creek Park here in D.C. where we love exploring the trails, creek, and open spaces, and in Jackson, Wyoming, where our program moves in the summer so youth can explore the mountains, lakes, and trails in Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks," said Eloise Russo, Executive Director of City Kids Wilderness Project.
The Centennial Challenge is a national effort providing $15 million in federal support to 69 projects in 63 national parks across the country. To be eligible for challenge funding, projects must attract at least a 1-to-1 private match to the federal investment.
"As the National Park Service enters its centennial year in 2016, Congress and generous partners across the country are making exceptional investments to improve park facilities, enhance their accessibility, and help more visitors—especially young people—discover our nation's inspiring places and stories," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 409 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.