American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation today announced the winners of the Partners in Preservation: National Parks campaign. The winning parks, determined by a popular vote, are Yellowstone National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park, Zion National Park, World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Everglades National Park, Denali National Park and Mt. Rainier National Park.
The winning parks' local nonprofit partners will receive a total of $1.8 million in grants to help fund their respective preservation projects. The nonprofit partners for all 20 national parks which participated in the program received a $10,000 grant at the outset of the campaign to help raise awareness about their preservation needs, adding up to $2 million in grants.
A decade after its inception, Partners in Preservation, a community-based initiative created to raise awareness of the importance of preserving historic places, honored the National Park Service Centennial by directing its efforts to historic sites within national park units in need of preservation support. Twenty different park sites with unique histories, reflective of the diverse communities and experiences that comprise our nation's cultural fabric, participated in the campaign. The nine winning sites accumulated the most votes throughout the campaign, which was hosted by media partner National Geographic, from May 25 through July 5.
"We are thrilled with the response and support for Partners in Preservation: National Parks and are proud to award $2 million in grants to extraordinary sites that tell the story of our national park system and reflect the rich cultural resources within it," said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. "The campaign received more than 1 million votes. We thank everyone who voted and applaud all participants of the campaign, as each helped further the public dialogue about the National Park Service's preservation needs."
"Partners in Preservation: National Parks has shone new light on the importance of rehabilitating historic resources in national parks and provided much needed funding to make them more accessible to visitors for years to come," said Stephanie K. Meeks, President and CEO, National Trust for Historic Preservation. "And through their participation in the campaign, more than 190,000 Americans have reaffirmed that these places matter – to our history, our nation, and our communities."
"The Partners in Preservation program is an excellent example of the many ways private organizations have always been essential to the success and longevity of the National Park System," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "These grants will enable our parks to restore and preserve priceless historical features that make a visit to a national park so unique."
Grants will be awarded by September 2016.
The winning Partners in Preservation: National Parks sites are as follows:
Yellowstone National Park | Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Brink of Upper Falls Overlook: From the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park, visitors gaze upon the same vistas that helped persuade Congress to preserve Yellowstone as the world's first national park nearly 145 years ago. The $250,000 grant will rehabilitate historic stonework at the Brink of Upper Falls Overlook, one of ten overlooks around the canyon, to ensure future generations witness the dramatic perspective of Yellowstone.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Tennessee and North Carolina
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower: Built in 1959, as part of the Mission 66 program, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is best viewed from Clingmans Dome Observation Tower, where visitors can take in nearly 100 miles of majestic mountains and valleys. Located atop Clingmans Dome at 6,643 feet and straddling the North Carolina and Tennessee state line, the tower is the highest point in the park. The $250,000 grant will restore the deteriorating structure for future visitors.
Grand Canyon National Park | Grand Canyon, Arizona
Desert View Watchtower: Grand Canyon National Park's south rim is home to the striking Desert View Watchtower with expansive views of one of the country's most iconic vistas. The Watchtower, an exposition of the prehistoric Indian towers found throughout the Southwest, features internationally significant American Indian murals. The $250,000 grant will conserve the tower's historic murals so they can continue to tell the lesser-known story of the canyon's tribes to future generations.
Yosemite National Park | Yosemite, California
Parsons Memorial Lodge: Yosemite National Park is not only known for its peaks and waterfalls, but also boasts one of the earliest stone rustic buildings in a national park. The $97,000 grant will support needed restoration work at Parsons Memorial Lodge, located in Tuolumne Meadows and originally built by the Sierra Club in 1915, to reverse damage done by high elevation weather.
Zion National Park | Springdale, Utah
Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel and Highway: Zion National Park encompasses some of the most moving canyon views in the United States with sandstone cliffs and blue sky as far as the eye can see. The remarkable 1.1 mile Zion-Mt Carmel Tunnel connects Zion to touring destinations such as Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon, allowing visitors a scenic drive. The $191,000 grant will support needed preservation work on the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel and Highway including repairs to the sandstone masonry features and interior surfaces of the mile long tunnel.
World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument | Honolulu, Hawaii
Battleship Row Mooring Quay: World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument commemorates the heroic sacrifices made during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Mooring Quays of Battleship Row are the last remaining structures that mark the locations of the American battleship force during the attack. The $250,000 grant will restore and stabilize one of the quays, serving as a model for eventual repairs to all six structures.
Everglades National Park | Homestead, Florida
Flamingo Visitor Center: Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, is home to more than just alligators. The park boasts the Flamingo Visitor Center, a distinctive example of Park Service Modern architecture and the Mission 66 building program that transformed America's national parks in the 1950s and 1960s. The $250,000 grant will restore the exterior of the visitor center, connecting a new generation of visitors to the unique site.
Denali National Park | Denali Park, Alaska
Superintendent's Office: Denali National Park is home to six million acres of wilderness and roaming animals. Its centerpiece is North America's most majestic peak. The rustic former superintendent's office represents Alaska's adventurous and pioneering spirit and demonstrates how early Park Service staff made use of whatever materials were available. The $79,000 grant will cover the construction of historically appropriate furniture for the cabin and interpretive materials for visitors.
Mount Rainier National Park | Longmire, Washington
Longmire Historic District Search and Rescue House: Mount Rainier National Park is an icon of the Pacific Northwest that calls to climbers and hiking enthusiasts from all over the world. A $183,000 grant will help rehabilitate an original building in the Longmire Historic District, one of the most extensive collections of National Park Service Rustic style architecture in the country, to provide housing for volunteer search and rescue staff who are critical to park emergency operations.
About Partners in Preservation
Partners in Preservation is a program in which American Express, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, awards preservation grants to historic places across the country.
Through this partnership, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation seek to increase the public's awareness of the importance of historic preservation in the United States and to preserve America's historic and cultural places. The program also hopes to inspire long-term support from local citizens for the historic places at the heart of their communities.
To date, Partners in Preservation has awarded $16 million in support of historic places across the United States.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.
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About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America's historic places. www.savingplaces.org.