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Contact: Coreen Kolisko, 505-988-6027
(Lawrenceburg, TN) May 2, 2013 - Trail of Tears National Historic Trail is one of 22 national parks across the country selected to receive a 2013 Active Trails grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks. Now in its fifth year, the Active Trails program supports hands-on projects that encourage the public to lead healthy lives by actively engaging in trail work, special events and community activities that help restore, protect and/or create land and water trails across the country.
"Through the Active Trails program, we are able to help national parks across the country in their efforts to maintain and enhance the 17,000 miles of land and water trails that we currently have," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "These grants also help national parks create new trails and encourage healthy lifestyles by offering opportunities for the public to be active in their national parks."
The NPS National Trails Intermountain Region and David Crockett State Park, TN will use the Active Trails grant funds to develop and interpret a pristine and well preserved trail segment of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. This section of trail runs directly through the state park, and provides a magnificent example of an intact and relatively untouched segment of the Trail of Tears. Presently, this trail segment and the history associated with it, remains largely unknown to park visitors. This project when completed, will address visitor education, appreciation, and use of this trail segment.
"The NPS National Trails Intermountain Region is honored to receive this NPF Active Trails grant that supports the collaboration with David Crockett State Park in Tennessee to develop a segment of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. This effort honors the people that traveled over this trail segment during the Indian Removal period and provides the American public today with an opportunity to connect with, and understand, that difficult episode in our shared history." - Aaron Mahr, Superintendent, National Trails Intermountain Region
Since 2008, the National Park Foundation has granted nearly $1.7 million through its Active Trails program. To date, Active Trails has engaged more than 4,700 volunteers and 131 project partners who combined have contributed more than 21,000 hours to help promote, refurbish or build national park trails that were ultimately enjoyed by 304,000 visitors (and counting!).
"National park trails are simply invaluable. They provide venues for outdoor recreation, promote enjoyment of outdoor areas, support local economies, and so much more," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "Thanks to these grants, we will be able to encourage even greater visitor involvement in our trails with new projects, events and volunteer opportunities."
The 2013 Active Trails Grantees include:
Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
Buffalo National River, Arkansas
Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Oklahoma
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Pennsylvania
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Gulf Islands National Seashore, Mississippi and Florida
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, Tennessee
North Country National Scenic Trail, Minnesota
Ocmulgee National Monument, Georgia
Point Reyes National Seashore, California
Russell Cave National Monument, Alabama
Saguaro National Park, Arizona
Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
A listing of these parks and their Active Trails project descriptions can be found on the National Park Foundation website.
ABOUT TRAIL OF TEARS NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL
In 1838, the United States government forcibly removed more than 16,000 Cherokee Indian people from their homelands in Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia, and sent them to Indian Territory (today known as Oklahoma).
The impact to the Cherokee was devastating. Hundreds of Cherokee died during their trip west, and thousands more perished from the consequences of relocation. This tragic chapter in American and Cherokee history became known as the Trail of Tears, and culminated the implementation of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which mandated the removal of all American Indian tribes east of the Mississippi River to lands in the West.
NPS Trail of Tears website: http://www.nps.gov/trte/index.htm
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, raises private funds that directly aid, support and enrich America's more than 400 national parks and their programs. Chartered by Congress as the nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation plays a critical role in conservation and preservation efforts, establishing national parks as powerful learning environments, and giving all audiences an equal and abundant opportunity to experience, enjoy and support America's treasured places. www.nationalparks.org.