The National Park Service (NPS) and the Outdoor Foundation (OF) announced recipients of the 2014 Challenge Cost Share Program, which supports projects that promote urban outreach, youth engagement and connecting people to the outdoors. The partners selected 20 projects, from 187 applications, and will award nearly $400,000 that will be matched by an additional $885,000 in direct and in-kind contributions from recipients. A total of 14,000 youth are expected to be engaged through the program.
Entrada Institute (EI) received $2,600 to support its work with Capitol Reef National Park (CRNP) in promoting the value of the night sky to the local community and national park visitors. The funding will be used to support the annual Heritage Starfest event sponsored by Entrada Institute, Capitol Reef Natural History Association and CRNP. Events are held over the course of two days, both in the park and in the
gateway community of Torrey. Funding will support invitational speakers for lectures on night sky, astronomy tours, equipment such as telescopes and sky quality meters and materials to engage local schools.
“We are delighted to receive the grant from the Outdoor Foundation, strengthening our partnership with Entrada Institute and expanding our ability to engage audiences with the dark night sky,” says Chief of Interpretation Lori Rome. Together, the NPS, EI, and CRNHA are making a difference is protecting dark sky resources and educating the public.
“This grant gives The Entrada Institute more opportunity to make Heritage Starfest a successful event by reaching out to local schools and increasing outdoor night programming during the event,” says Board of Directors member Annette Lamb.
The Challenge Cost Share Program supports National Park Service parks and programs that are aligned with partners that promote urban outreach, youth engagement, and/or connecting people to the outdoors. The initiative requires a 1:1 match by the local recipient -- resulting in greater financial leverage and impact. In addition, the Outdoor Foundation is actively seeking additional support for the selected projects. Program priorities include:
• Urban Outreach: Projects to promote active healthy living, restore or conserve community natural and
cultural assets, or promote close-to-home access to recreation within an urban setting.
• Youth Engagement: Projects to engage youth participants to play, learn, serve, and work associated with
National Park Service sites and programs.
• Connecting People to the Outdoors: Projects to enhance tangible and/or intangible access to the
outdoors that provide increased outdoor recreation opportunities.
“The Outdoor Foundation is thrilled to partner with the National Park Service to reconnect Americans to their national parks and engage a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts and stewards,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation. “The Challenge Cost Share program is one of the most effective initiatives that leverages public and private funds and invests in local partnerships that deliver