DATE: 6/16/10

Contact: Kevin Bacher, [email protected] -_
Mark Shields, [email protected]_
Mount Rainier National Park, 360-569-2211, x3385-_
National Park Foundation, 202-354-6480

Nationwide grants program is made possible by the National Park Foundation and Unilever as part of the America’s Best Idea Grants Program< /em>

Ashford, WA – June 16 – Mount Rainier National Park today announced receipt of a $10,000 grant from the National Park Foundation in support of the Camping Adventure with My Parents (CAMP) program. The CAMP program, now in its second year, takes families who have never camped before on a two night camping trip to Mount Rainier. The project is part of the National Park Foundation’s America’s Best Idea grants, a nationwide program currently underway in 33 national parks which seeks to connect youth and other underserved audiences to parks.

he CAMP program opens the door for kids who have never camped to experience nature with their parents, said Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. The park rangers make it safe, fun, and a great chance to learn.

As stewards of the parks, there is nothing more important than connecting our communities and young people to these treasured places, said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation.

Mount Rainier National Park recruited families for this opportunity through partnerships with Student Conservation Association, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and Tacoma Metro Parks. The families will learn the basics of setting up a camp site, go on ranger-led hikes, and at night sit around the campfire roasting marshmallows. The park provides participants with transportation to the park, equipment, food, and instruction-all free of charge.

The CAMP program would not be possible without grant support from Washington’s National Park Fund and The McKibben Merner Family Foundation, Uberuaga said.

Inspired by the epic Ken Burns documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, the National Park Foundation, in partnership with Unilever, has awarded America’s Best Idea Grants totaling roughly half a million dollars, to 33 national parks across the country.

You are the part-owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured landscapes, ecosystems, and historical sites — all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to help connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow. Join us – This is Your Land.