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Contact: Mary Ontiveros, 928-567-3322 x 228
Camp Verde, AZ (March 9, 2016) – Montezuma Castle National Monument 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. The Ticket to Ride grant program is designed to provide the opportunity for youth to visit our local monuments by providing funds for transportation and 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."
Youth from the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe and Hopi Tribe were selected to visit our monuments in the context of their own culture and reconnect with their ancestral homeland. A pre-site visit and rock art activity was held with each group. In addition, each youth received water bottle and a plain canvas bag to decorate and bring with them on a field trip to our monuments. While on the field trip, youth were encouraged to use cameras to document their trip.Later during a post-site visit, youth made photo journals using pictures from their field trip. Monument staff is planning to provide similar field trips during Spring 2016, to further enhance their experience.
"Oral traditions and cultural affinities closely tie the prehistoric Sinaguan culture associated with Montezuma Castle National Monument to several present day Native American cultures," said Dorothy FireCloud, superintendent of Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments."Funding provided an opportunity for Hopi youth to visit their ancestral home and experience Montezuma Castle National Monument firsthand. The program also provided the Yavapai-Prescott youth a trip to the monument to connect them with one of the other two "Yavapai" tribes in Arizona."
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.