WASHINGTON, June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, timed with the President's designation of Stonewall National Monument during LGBT Pride Month, the National Park Foundation announced that it will work with local and national organizations and the community to raise the approximately $2 million needed to launch the new park. This fundraising effort will be part of the Foundation's $350 million Centennial Campaign for America's National Parks and the support will provide critical funds for dedicated National Park Service rangers, a temporary ranger station and visitor center, research and materials, exhibits, LGBTQ community outreach, public education, and scholar engagement. The Foundation will also help establish a local Friends Group to provide ongoing philanthropic support to the new monument.
"The National Park Foundation is honored to support and jumpstart critical projects at Stonewall National Monument to help ensure that the ongoing LGBTQ fight for civil rights is highlighted in a way that inspires people to reflect on how the story of the Stonewall uprising relates to their lives," said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks. "As we move from the National Park Service's first century into its second, we couldn't be more proud to be part of a national park community that is committed to telling a more complete American story."
The events of June 28, 1969 at Stonewall Inn, located in Greenwich Village in New York City, helped to shape the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement. It was at this site that New York City police conducted a raid that had become routine at gay bars and often resulted in harassment and arrests. Unlike previous raids, the crowds held their ground in demanding civil rights and refused to disperse. The protest expanded to neighboring streets and into nearby Christopher Park, grew to as many as several thousand people, lasted for six days, and marked a significant turning point in the struggle for LGBTQ rights. Within two years, LGBTQ people across the country had formed gay rights groups in almost every major city.
"The support of the National Park Foundation will be essential to creating a visitor experience that tells the story of LGBT Americans through this historic new national park site at Stonewall National Monument," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "As we enter a second century of stewardship of our national parks, we greatly appreciate the dedication of the National Park Foundation to ensuring that all Americans find a national park experience that is relevant to them."
As part of its Congressional charter, the National Park Foundation works with the National Park Service to identify priority projects in need of support across the National Park System. In this capacity, the Foundation has recently supported the establishment of several new national parks including Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument, Pullman National Monument, Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, and César E. Chávez National Monument.
From its inception, the National Park System has benefited from this type of private support. Many of the earliest national parks were the direct beneficiaries of generous philanthropists who stepped forward to keep national parks protected and accessible for everyone. People are invited to carry on this legacy by visiting www.nationalparks.org/Stonewall and supporting the newest national park.
To help raise awareness for the designation of Stonewall National Monument, the out of home advertising industry will donate ad space to the National Park Foundation on June 25 in Times Square in New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago to share the White House announcement video and Stonewall Find Your Park PSA. With support from Branded Cities, Clear Channel Outdoor, Lamar Advertising Company, and OUTFRONT Media, both videos will show how parks can be so much more than vast landscapes and include cultural and historical sites, highlighting the essence of the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement.
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. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service's 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America's National Parks, a $350 million comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.
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SOURCE National Park Foundation