The Active Trails program promotes healthy living by literally getting people out and active on the trails — whether hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, or volunteering to help improve existing trails or to build new ones. This NPF signature program grants parks the opportunity to develop a community engagement platform through restoration work, recreational activities, and large-scale kickoff and celebration events. Among other goals, the program aligns with “Healthy Parks/Healthy Living” initiatives and, with the goals of the National Trails System leading up to the 50th anniversary in 2018, which encompass increasing public awareness, building and enhancing trails, and enhancing management capacity by Federal agencies. The 2014 Active Trails program is being made possible through the generous support of Coca-Cola and the Coca-Cola Foundation
The Park Stewards program launched in 2009. The program gives high school teachers and students the opportunity to explore the relevance of national parks to their lives, and enables them to become civically engaged stewards of their national parks. Through the program model, high school teachers and park rangers team up to develop curriculum and service-learning activities that tie to the national park and applicable state standards. The curriculum and service-learning activities are then implemented throughout the year with the high school students and revised through the fall and spring semesters. Through the service-learning activities, the students apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills (in addition to physical skills as appropriate) to address genuine needs of the park. The 2014-2015 Park Stewards program is being made possible through the generous support of the University of Phoenix and the National Park Foundation.
America’s Best Idea
Now entering its sixth year, the America’s Best Idea grants program is an NPF signature program meant to engage diverse audiences in meaningful and relevant ways with national parks and inspire participants to become stewards of our national park system. The original goal of the program was to capitalize on the 2009, 12-hour Ken Burns film, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, as a catalyst for connecting under-represented audiences with their national parks. This program has evolved into a successful model for national parks to engage multi-cultural, multi-ethnic groups of all ages, and to inspire their future stewardship of our national parks. At its core, it is a community engagement program with an emphasis on underserved youth.
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