GLEN JEAN, WV (WOAY) – New River Gorge National River recentlyreceived an Open OutDoors for Kids grant from the National Park Foundation. Thanks to their support, over 1500 local students will have hands-on learning experiences at New River Gorge National River this school year.
The education staff at New River Gorge National River has been working with local teachers to create new curriculum-based educational programming for local schools with a focus on bringing the schools to the park.
This grant will afford local students an opportunity to come to the park and test this new curriculum on site. Bringing students into the park allows them to make deeper, more meaningful connections to our public lands. The grant funding will be used to transport second and eighth grade students to the park to test out two new curriculum programs.
Over 200,000 children across the country will visit national parks during the 2018-2019 school year, thanks to grants from the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service. The grants, supporting 132 national parks, are part of the Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids program, which connects young people to national parks through meaningful, educational and engaging activities, and encourages kids to build lifelong connections to these special places. The grants announced on September 20 total more than $2.3 million and provide funding to facilitate field trips to national parks, with a special focus on underserved communities. Recognizing that transportation is one of the greatest barriers preventing youth from exploring national parks, this strategic funding will help provide comprehensive access to natural, cultural, historical and recreational parks across the country.
“Trekking along trails, observing our natural ecosystems and engaging with our shared history are experiences that benefit all children,” said National Park Foundation President Will Shafroth. “Making it possible for hundreds of thousands of kids to explore our national parks is an investment in their future and the future of the national parks community.”
“We are extremely excited to be able to present this wonderful opportunity to our local students,” said New River Gorge Superintendent Lizzie Watts. “National parks like New River Gorge National River provide living laboratories for our children to learn about the natural world around them and make connections to the cultural history of the place they call home.”