Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have been selected to receive a 2014 Active Trails grant for $24,800 from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. Now in its sixth year, the Active Trails program supports healthy living by getting people out and active in national parks through projects that help restore, protect, and/or create land and water trails across the country. These projects include hands-on learning, hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, volunteering and more.
“Through the Active Trails program, people across the country are connecting with their national parks, discovering more ways to lead active and healthy lives, and giving back to the places they love,” said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “These grants are critical to helping with ongoing efforts to maintain and enhance the 17,000 miles of land and water trails across the National Park System.”
Sequoia and Kings Canyon will use its $24,800 grant for an exciting and innovative project for students from Farmersville High School in Farmersville and from Sequoia High School in Visalia in July. Students will camp in the parks for three weeks and rehabilitate trails in front-country and wilderness areas. In addition, students will participate in learning, team-building, and recreation. The project will be managed by a mix of high school teachers and National Park Service staff.
“This program will improve park trails while engaging a younger, more diverse audience, who are the park stewards of the future,” said Volunteer Coordinator Tim Barrett. “By participating in this experience, many students who have never visited the parks will have the opportunity to help preserve an iconic national park while being immersed in the wilderness for the first time.”
Since 2008, the National Park Foundation has granted nearly $2.4 million through its Active Trails program. To date, Active Trails has engaged more than 5,900 volunteers and 327 project partners who combined have contributed more than 30,000 hours to help promote, refurbish or build national park trails that were ultimately enjoyed by 331,000 visitors.
“The National Park Foundation’s Active Trails program provides vital funding that supports our national parks as centers of healthy outdoor activity for families and communities across the nation,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The land and water trails maintained by the National Park Service invite visitors to explore natural and cultural beauty, and these grants will expand these great opportunities to even more visitors.”
The National Park Foundation wishes to thank The Coca-Cola Company, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Disney, the Scrooby Foundation, and Subaru for their generous support of the Active Trails program.