HESSTON, Pennsylvania– Raystown Lake is one of 186 federal sites selected to receive a 2015 field trip grant from the National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charity of America’s national parks. Southern Huntingdon School District’s fourth-grade class will use the grant to travel to Raystown Lake, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project, in May 2016 for a water education program.
The grant, part of NPF’s Open OutDoors for Kids Program, supports the White House’s Every Kid in a Park youth initiative, which provides fourth-grade children and their families a pass granting free access to national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges.
During their visit to Raystown Lake, the fourth-grade students will participate in a new water education program, Raystown Lake: Protecting your Future, One Drop at a Time! The program aims to provide students an understanding of the value of water resources in their community, as well as the importance of fresh-water quality and quantity for all living things. They will also explore water impacts and conservation methods, and learn about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ mission in providing water-based needs to the Raystown Lake area and surrounding communities.
“It is inspiring to see the National Park Foundation and many other partners step up to support our goal of getting fourth graders and their families into parks, public lands and waters that belong to all Americans," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. "These generous grants will ensure children across the country have an opportunity to experience the great outdoors in their community while developing a lifelong connection to our nation’s land, water and wildlife."
NPF grants have made it possible for more than 400,000 students to visit national parks and other public lands and waters.
“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 NPF. “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.”
“We are ecstatic to be included in this opportunity, and we hope to get all of our students outdoors more frequently,” said Donna Waleski, Southern Huntingdon School District interim elementary principal.
For the full list of grantees, and their projects, visit www.nationalparks.org/everykidinapark.