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Contact: Brian Loadholtz, 904-221-7567
Contact: Alanna Sobel, 202-796-2538
Jacksonville, FL (December 14, 2015) – The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve is one of 113 national parks selected to receive a 2015 field trip grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks. "Let's go to the Park" will bring kids to their local national parks for fun and engaging activities.
As part of the National Park Foundation's Open OutDoors for Kids program, this grant (funded in part by Disney) provides funding for materials and logistics to make national park field trips, citizen science projects, Junior Ranger activities, experiential learning opportunities, and more possible.
Including this year's grantees, National Park Foundation grants have made it possible for more than 300,000 students to visit national parks.
"Through programs like Open OutDoors for Kids and the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement, we are creating the next generation of park stewards, connecting youth across the country to these special places and inspiring their natural curiosity and love for them," said Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "We are grateful to all of our partners, including Disney, that make such programs possible and help more people find their park."
"By sharing parks with kids at such a young age, we're building a strong generation of park stewards who will care for and protect these treasured places into the next 100 years," said Jonathan B. Jarvis, director of the National Park Service. "Thanks to our philanthropic partner, the National Park Foundation, we're able to strengthen and enrich our parks through the lasting bond these experiences foster."
The program in Jacksonville will bring fourth graders to visit the two National Parks in their home town.The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve and Fort Caroline National Memorial are often less than ten miles from their homes, yet a great percentage of these kids have never visited the parks. While on their visit they will see the slave cabins, home to enslaved Africans at the Kingsley Plantation, or see Fort Caroline where a group of French colonists attempted a settlement along the St John's River.The park will work with individual schools to pay for transportation of fourth-grade kids from the local area to visit their National Parks.Two or three classes will visit together and have rangers meet them and take them on a trail walk.The kids will learn important historic and natural aspects of the park;while working to become Junior Rangers.
For the full list of park grantees, and their projects, visit www.nationalparks.org/ticket-adventure.
Since 2014, Disney has been the lead sponsor of Open OutDoors for Kids, helping youth experience a national park, many of them for the first time.
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. Learn more at: www.nps.gov.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America's national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.