American Express is partnering with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to mobilize thousands of volunteers to conserve and preserve parks across the United States. Through a $550,000 grant from American Express, SCA will conduct a series of Find Your Park volunteer events, scheduled to occur over the next year on national days of service such as September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance (September 11), Veteran’s Day (November 11), Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 18), Earth Day (April 22), and National Trails Day (June 6).
These events are organized in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial in 2016, and will engage more than 6,400 community members who will dedicate more than 25,000 hours to conserving and revitalizing 200,000 acres of public land and green space in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
This grant complements a $5 million national commitment by the American Express Foundation to encourage millions of children to play, learn, serve and work outdoors, with particular emphasis on reaching the Department of the Interior’s goal of supporting one million volunteers annually on public lands. The funding will also invest in employment opportunities for young adults and veterans serving through the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps and engage new volunteers during next year’s National Park Service Centennial. American Express is one of the National Park Foundation’s premier partners for the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement, inspiring people of all backgrounds to discover all that a park can be, share their experiences with each other, and support these treasured places and their programs.
“Volunteers play an essential role in the National Park Service's mission to share this nation's special places with the American people,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Engaging our volunteers in the Find Your Park movement and inviting new volunteers to join us is a key priority for the National Park Service's Centennial, and we appreciate American Express for their significant support to boost our volunteer network in service to parks.”
"American Express has cultivated community service and civic engagement programs throughout its 165-year history," said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. "National parks are critical to our communities and American heritage, and we are proud to lead an effort to help develop the next generation of park conservation leaders and stewards to sustain our parks for the next hundred years."
American Express chose SCA to direct the Find Your Park volunteer events because of its leadership role in engaging young people in conservation and park stewardship. “For nearly sixty years, SCA and the National Park Service have provided America’s young people with transformational service opportunities that protect our parks and empower our youth as the next generation of conservation leaders,” stated SCA President Jaime Berman Matyas. “With the generous support of American Express, SCA will now expand its volunteer engagement to support next year’s centennial and the Find Your Park movement.”
Community members interested in signing up to volunteer for these events can visit http://www.thesca.org/findyourpark to learn more and sign up for a project.
‘SERVABRATION’ ON THE NATIONAL MALL ON AUGUST 25
To commemorate the National Park Service’s 99th birthday, American Express and SCA will host a hands-on ‘servabration’ at National Mall and Memorial Parks on Tuesday, August 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Director of the National Park Service Jonathan B. Jarvis, SCA’s President and CEO Jaime Matyas, SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Ayomide Sekiteri, and Acting Superintendent of the National Mall Karen Cucurullo will speak about our national parks’ legacy and the importance of service and volunteerism in parks.
The event will feature 99th birthday cupcakes created by Sprinkles Cupcakes, as well as hands-feature hands-on volunteer projects, a park-themed photo booth and other interactive experiences, which offer the public the opportunity to learn more about the history of volunteering in national parks. This event is free and open to the general public. More information about the event is available at https://www.thesca.org/find-your-park-servabration.
About American Express
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About the Student Conservation Association
The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is America’s largest and most effective youth conservation service organization. SCA transforms lives and lands by empowering young people of all backgrounds to plan, act, and lead, while they protect and restore our natural and cultural resources. Founded in 1957, SCA’s mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders, and 70% of its 75,000 alumni are employed or studying in conservation-related fields. SCA is headquartered in Washington, DC and maintains regional offices across the country. For more, visit www.thesca.org.
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.