Rei Donates $100,000 To Encourage Volunteerism In National Parks
Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) and the National Park Foundation (NPF) recently partnered to enhance the National Park Service’s Volunteers-In-Parks Programs throughout the country.
From Sept. 7 through Oct. 2, REI made a donation to the NPF upon each sale of specially selected REI Gear and Apparel products. Customer purchases throughout the promotion resulted in a $100,000 grant to support volunteerism in National Parks from Cape Cod National Seashore to Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The REI grant will support the recruitment, training and support of volunteers for environmental stewardship projects ranging from a Bryce Canyon National Park (Bryce Canyon, UT) program which educates the public about light pollution solutions, the potential for stargazing-based tourism and the diverse elements that the park encompasses and protects; to a Golden Gate National Recreation Area (San Francisco, Calif.) project to clear overgrown plant materials and to salvage/nurture historic plants which were first planted on Alcatraz Island by 19th century soldiers; to a Independence National Historic Park (Philadelphia, PA) Twilight Guides program which offers free educational tours of the park.
“In 2004, 129,000 volunteers donated 4.6 million hours of service at a value to the American people of $80 million,” said Fran Mainella, National Park Service Director. “The National Park Service values the partnership and support of the National Park Foundation and REI in helping to advance this important program by providing additional opportunities for parks and volunteers to have mutually beneficial and meaningful experiences.”
The complete list of National Parks receiving an REI-funded volunteer enhancement grant from the NPF include:
Bandelier National Monument-Los Alamos, NM;
Bryce Canyon National Park- Bryce Canyon, UT;
Cape Cod National Seashore-Well Fleet, MA;
Cumberland Island National Seashore-St. Mary’s, GA;
Cuyahoga Valley National Park-Brecksville, OH;
Fire Island National Seashore-Patchogue, NY;
Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site-Williston, ND;
Independence National Historical Park- Philadelphia, PA;
Gateway National Recreation Area-Staten Island, NY;
Golden Gate National Recreation Area-San Francisco, CA;
Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site-Deer Lodge, MT;
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park-Harpers Ferry, WV;
Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens-Washington, DC;
Keweenaw National Historical Park-Calumet, MI;
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area- Saint Paul, MN;
Mount Rainier National Park-Ashford, WA;
Nez Perce National Historical Park-Spalding, ID;
North Cascades National Park-Sedro-Woolley, WA;
Ozark National Scenic River-Van Buren, MO;
Rock Creek Park- Washington, DC;
Valley Forge National Historical Park-Valley Forge, PA; and Voyageurs National Park- International Falls, MN.
IN 2003, the REI program generated more than $50,000 in grants supporting volunteer projects aimed at protecting five of the nation’s most loved outdoor destinations–Yosemite National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Appalachian National Scenic Trail and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The National Park Foundation (http://www.nationalparks.org), chartered by Congress in 1967, is the official nonprofit partner of America’s National Parks. The National Park Foundation strengthens the enduring connection between the American people and their National Parks by raising private funds, making strategic grants, creating innovative partnerships and increasing public awareness. Over the past seven years, the Foundation has contributed more than $135 million in grants and program support to National Parks across the country.
REI is an outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its more than 2 million active members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventures. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI operates retail stores nationwide, two online stores – REI.com and REI-OUTLET.com – and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures.