WASHINGTON, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, has awarded 22 grants totaling $409,262 to national parks selected to participate in the 2013 Active Trails program. 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 nationwide 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."
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:
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Montana
Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
Buffalo National River, Arkansas
Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Oklahoma
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Pennsylvania
George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Virginia
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
River Raisin National Battlefield Park, Michigan
Russell Cave National Monument, Alabama
Saguaro National Park, Arizona
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Arizona
Timpanogos Cave National Monument, Utah
Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
A listing of these parks and their Active Trails project descriptions can be found on the National Park Foundation website.
For more information on the National Park Foundation or how you can support and protect America's national parks, please visit www.nationalparks.org. For more information on the National Park Service, please visit www.nps.gov.
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.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 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.
SOURCE National Park Foundation