Kempthorne Unveils National Park Projects
Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne has unveiled the 110 national park improvement projects and programs that will get underway this spring, funded by an equal combination of public and private funds, under President Bush’s National Park Centennial Initiative.
The initiative, announced in 2006, proposed a federal Centennial Challenge matching fund that would be used to match philanthropic contributions for the benefit of national parks between now and the100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016.
The more than $50 million in projects result from the combination of $24.6 million in federal funds that match nearly $27 million in philanthropic contributions,
“I am pleased to announce the first round of National Park Centennial Projects that will be undertaken with the first round of funding appropriated by Congress in the 2008 budget,” Kempthorne said. “Ground will be broken and work underway very soon. This first round of projects will improve parks nationwide – large and small, urban and rural, natural and historical.”
Congress will continues its work on legislation to create the President’s National Park Centennial Challenge Matching Fund, an annual fund to match up to $100 million a year of donations through our centennial in 2016.
The first round of Centennial Challenge projects include expansion of a popular outdoor stewardship education outreach program for teen-agers in the Washington, D.C., area, saving endangered sea turtles along the Texas coast at Padre Island and renovation of Yosemite National Park’s iconic Tunnel View Overlook.
There are also citizen scientist and citizen naturalist projects at national parks across the country.
“For example, park rangers at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park in Oregon, will adopt the Class of 2016 and bring the students to the park for special programs and events until they graduate from high school,” Kempthorne said.
Other Centennial Challenge projects and programs include: