Yellowstone National Park Receives Best Idea Grant

By: Jeremy Downing
By: Jeremy Downing

YELLOWSTON N.P. - Yellowstone National Park is one of 39 national parks selected to receive a 2014 America’s Best Idea grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks.

Yellowstone will partner with Groundwork USA, a national network of non-profits working to transform community liabilities into quality neighborhood assets, and to engage residents in improving quality of life in their own neighborhoods.

Fifty-five Green Team youth and leaders representing 15 Groundwork USA Trusts will participate in one of two week-long programs at Yellowstone this August. Youth will participate in completing work projects such as the installation of bear-safe storage boxes in campgrounds, paint picnic tables, and work on trails. Other activities include sessions on leadership, sustainability, ecological relationships, stewardship, cultural heritage, and career development. Groups will have recreational opportunities to tour and hike the park.

“We were thrilled to receive a National Park Foundation grant this year,” said Judy Knuth Folts, Deputy Chief for the Division of Resource Education and Youth Programs for Yellowstone. “In addition to completing important work at Yellowstone, the youth will complete a Yellowstone inspired project when they return to their home communities, meaning more people will hear about the park and the National Park Service mission.”

Established by a unique federal interagency agreement, Groundwork USA Trusts work on the ground in distressed neighborhoods to achieve the mission and goals of the NPS Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program, and the EPA Brownfields and Urban Waters Programs. Designed to serve diverse, disadvantaged youth, the national Green Team initiative is a conservation program that strongly emphasizes youth leadership, employment skills, resume-building experience and awareness of local and global environmental justice issues to steer the next generation of diverse conservationists into environmental and community development careers.

Inspired by Ken Burns’ critically acclaimed documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” this program builds partnerships between national parks and community, state, and other public organizations, and engages diverse audiences in meaningful and relevant ways with national parks and inspires participants to become stewards of our National Park System.


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