The National Park Trust, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), announced today $375,1000 to fund 18 education and outdoor recreation projects through the 2023 NPS Challenge Cost Share Program.
Each project connects a local community to a nearby national park, national trail or wild and scenic river. This year’s group of awardees will engage more than 8,600 participants in active, healthy outdoor recreation and in education initiatives that increase knowledge about our nation’s natural and cultural heritage.
Said Grace Lee, executive director of National Park Trust, “The Challenge Cost Share program is a terrific example of an initiative that leverages public and private funds to invest in communities to create sustainable partnerships that benefit parks and people.”
NPS Associate Director for Partnerships and Civic Engagement Lauren S. Imgrund added, “Partnering with the National Park Trust allows the National Park Service to reach more people and communities through the Challenge Cost Share Program. We appreciate the work of local partner organizations across the nation, who are using their resources and skills to support conservation, recreation and education projects that are meaningful and impactful to their communities.”
A sample of the 2023 projects includes:
- Removing invasive species and building native plant communities along the Wabash River in George Rogers Clark National Historic Park (IN);
- Providing multi-day and overnight environmental education outing opportunities at Golden Gate National Recreation Area for more than 1,800 underserved San Francisco students (CA);
- Exploring Indigenous history on the New England Trail through the engagement of 40 communities to create equity in environmental preservation (MA);
- Improving six miles of historic trails, upgrading existing trailheads and rehabilitating five backcountry camp sites at Zion National Park (UT);
- Engaging local Hawaiian communities in the “Stars above Haleakala” program to share knowledge of traditional Hawaiian night sky use through partnerships with community-focused solar science groups at Haleakala National Park (HI).
Partnerships are what make these projects possible. The NPS and National Park Trust are providing $375,100 in direct financial support, in addition to the nearly $980,000 pledged in direct and in-kind support from the community and non-profit organizations that partner with local NPS sites.
The National Park Trust is administering the program and leveraging additional financial resources to deepen the program’s impact and reach.