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Prescott National Forest & Highlands Center Receive Field Trip Grant
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25 January 2016   Debbie Maneely
Prescott National Forest and Highlands Center for Natural History Receive Field Trip Grant from the National Park Foundation

PRESCOTT, AZ (January 25, 2016) – The Prescott National Forest in partnership with the Highlands Center for Natural History is one of 186 federal sites selected to receive a 2016 grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to fund transportation costs for local fourth graders to participate in a field trip to the Highlands Center for the current school year. This grant, part of the Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids program, supports the White House youth initiative Every Kid in a Park.

“We are very pleased to be selected by the National Park Foundation and to partner with the Highlands Center to help several hundred local students experience the beauty and natural history of the Prescott National Forest,” said Teresa Chase, Forest Supervisor. “Being in close proximity to the Prescott area, the national forest is a great place for our local kids to learn about their natural surroundings and enjoy being in the great outdoors. The field trips will give these young people an opportunity to build a memorable connection with nature and develop a better understanding of the natural resources our public lands provide.”

National Park Foundation grants have made it possible for more than 400,000 students (including this year’s grantees) to visit federal public lands and waters, including the national forests.

“We want to help people everywhere, from all backgrounds, discover how national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and other public lands and waters are relevant to their lives, and the best way to do that is to give people the opportunity to experience them first-hand,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “Through our grants that provide funding for transportation and in-park learning, we are able to connect youth and their families to these special places and inspire people across the country to find their park which, in turn, can foster a lifelong connection to all that public lands and waters have to offer.”

The Prescott National Forest has worked in cooperation with the Highlands Center through a special use permit since 2001 to conduct science education programs for area schools. This grant will pay for bus transportation for approximately 34 classes and 900 fourth graders to experience their local national forest under skilled leadership of Highlands Center staff and outdoor guides and Prescott National Forest resource specialists. The field trips will be complemented by pre- and post-visit classroom activities developed by these partners to better integrate the concepts taught and support curriculum and state educational standards.

Fourth graders will also be encouraged to participate in the newly launched Every Kid in a Park program which gives them the opportunity to earn a free annual entrance pass to most federal public land sites, including national forests, parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, and other federal lands and waters (www.everykidinapark.gov). On the Prescott National Forest, the pass will provide free admission to all of the standard amenity fee sites such as Lynx Lake and Granite Basin Recreation Areas, Thumb Butte Picnic Area, and Mingus Mountain Day-Use Sites. A complete list of standard amenity fee sites can be found on the Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/detail/prescott/recreation/permits/recreation.

To learn more about the transportation grant awarded by the National Park Foundation, please contact the Highlands Center at (928) 776-9550.

For the full list of grantees, and their projects, visit www.nationalparks.org/everykidinapark.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION

The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.

All photos courtesy of the Highlands Center