Flagstaff, AZ (December 8, 2014) – The National Park Service and the Outdoor Foundation recently 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.
Grand Canyon Youth received $21,285.00 to support its partnership with the Page High School Science Club and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area to connect Page area youth to the great outdoors. Grant funds will enable twelve local youth to embark on an 8-day, 84-mile rafting adventure along the San Juan River. The youth will learn about the area’s world class geology, conduct paleontological surveys, and contribute to research on invertebrates, bats, and birds. The youth will engage in the full outdoor experience by back-country camping, cooking, hiking, and rafting along this beautiful section of river.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be selected to receive this grant.” said Emma Wharton, Executive Director of Grand Canyon Youth. “We are thrilled to be working with such incredible partners and look forward sharing the educational power of the river with teens from Page!”
Amanda Bates, Page High School Science Club Sponsor is looking forward to this program. She shares, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Page High School students to connect with natural resources in their backyard. We are excited about this year’s program with the National Park Service and Grand Canyon Youth, and I am hopeful that we can offer this program in years to come! As an educator, I am really looking forward to the outdoor application of science learning and citizen science!”
“This is a great opportunity to inspire the next generation of land stewards and scientists, and prepare the National Park Service for a second century of public service,” said Todd Brindle, Superintendent of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
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 results.”
The Outdoor Foundation
The Outdoor Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor leaders and enthusiasts. Through groundbreaking research, youth engagement and community grant-making, the Foundation works with young leaders and partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In just five years, the Foundation has invested $4 million into 500 not-for-profit and college programs that have connected 200,000 young people to the outdoors. Importantly, 90¢ of every dollar goes directly into this critical work. Visit us at OutdoorFoundation.org.