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Contact: Shauna Allen, 904.221.5568Jacksonville, FL – The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve announces the successful launch of a new atmospheric monitoring station funded by a 2012 Impact Grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks. The project was to design, acquire and install a weather station to collect real time atmospheric data. The grant is part of the National Park Foundation's Impact Grant program which gives parks the critical financial support needed to transform innovative, yet underfunded ideas into successful in-park programs and initiatives.
Timucuan Preserve Superintendent Barbara Goodman stated, "It is vital that we preserve air quality in National Park Units so that people can fully experience the natural beauty and be inspired by the icons of our nation's natural and cultural heritage. In order to preserve air quality we must understand the impacts of air pollution, resources at risk, and sources of air pollutants. The weather station provides the first critical step in establishing an air quality monitoring station."
"The staff and students working at the University of North Florida's Environmental Monitoring, Mapping, Analysis, and Planning Systems Lab (EMMAPS Lab) have designed and built a high-end, professional weather station that provides accurate and reliable weather data to scientists via cellular modem and the web," says Dr. J. David Lambert, Executive Director of the EMMAPS Lab.
"Our quality of life in Northeast Florida is an exceptional one and this project funded by the National Park Foundation and being implemented via the partnership between our National Park Service and the University of North Florida is an example of why we have this quality of life," said Maria Mark, Executive Director, Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation, the official friends group for the Timucuan Preserve. "The data gleaned from this weather monitoring station will help us continue to improve and protect our natural resources and our community."
"With these strategic grants, we have been able to positively impact hundreds of national parks across the country," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "This unique program helps the parks enhance the visitor experience, engaging more people, and ultimately building a stronger community of park enthusiasts who share an appreciation and commitment to protecting America's Best Idea, their national parks."
The National Park Foundation, in partnership with ARAMARK through the Yawkey Foundation, The Fernandez Pave the Way Foundation, and The HISTORY Channel, awarded Impact Grant grants to 62 national parks across the country totaling more than $500,000.
A full list of grantees is available on the National Park Foundation website.
ABOUT TIMUCUAN ECOLOGICAL AND HISTORIC PRESERVE Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve was established in 1988. Covering 46,000 acres, the preserve contains unique natural and cultural resources, including one of the last unspoiled coastal wetlands on the Atlantic Coast. It helps to preserve 6,000 years of human history in Florida, including vestiges of the Timucua Indians, the French colonization at Fort Caroline, the period of Spanish ownership of Florida, and the Kingsley Plantation. www.nps.gov/timu
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world's most treasured memorials, landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites -- all protected in America's 401 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America's national parks. We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow. Join us in supporting your national parks -- this is your land. www.nationalparks.org.