Supporting Volunteerism in our National Parks
April 23, 2018
April is one of my favorite months. Not only is it Earth Month, but it also includes National Volunteer Week and National Park Week.
Given all these holidays, April is an especially relevant time to recognize and appreciate all our parks and public lands have to offer - history, environmental diversity, learning opportunities and the sheer beauty and majesty of nature.
So how are we celebrating? As a National Park Foundation premier partner for the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement, American Express is funding seven grants for much-needed volunteer capacity-building efforts in U.S. national parks.
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield (Photo Judson McCranie)
Our grant is part of the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, and will help meet a need identified by the National Park Service - increased volunteer engagement to connect communities to their parks, and ensure their continued vibrancy and relevancy.
The grant funding will be used to support volunteer capacity-building efforts including recruitment, training, events, partnership-building, outreach, supplies and volunteer housing for:
- Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area and Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield (GA)
- Gateway National Recreation Area (NY)
- Golden Gate National Recreation Area (CA)
- Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
- Mount Rainier National Park and Seattle Area National Park Sites (WA)
- National Mall and Memorial Parks (DC)
- Zion National Park (UT)
This grant complements the more than $13 million in funding American Express has provided to park-related causes since 2015. Funds have helped increase volunteerism, preserve sites within national parks, and encourage people of all backgrounds to rediscover their parks – particularly in urban areas.
Zion National Park (Photo Sarah Stio)
Considering how you and your family can get involved during the month of April and year-round? Start with National Park Week, a time to explore amazing places, discover stories of history and culture, help out, and find your park!
If you have a comment or question, please follow me on Twitter at @timmcclimon and start a conversation there. Thanks for reading and sharing this blog posting with friends and colleagues.
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