Flood of stimulus-funded projects at National Park Service
Normal.dotm0015923375Penton Media Inc.286414412.00false18 pt18 pt00falsefalsefalse
The federal National Park Service (NPS) will invest $750 million in almost 800 projects to stimulate the economy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). A large percentage of those projects will be completed by the end of the federal fiscal year, which is September 30, an NPS spokeswoman told GovPro.com.
The projects will preserve and protect national icons and historic landscapes, improve energy efficiency and renewable energy use, remediate abandoned mines and surrounding lands, and provide $15 million in grants to protect and restore buildings at historically black colleges and universities. Additional funding through the Federal Highway Administration will improve park roads. All projects are NPS priorities and meet the Recovery Act’s criteria of addressing highest mission needs, generating the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time, and creating lasting value for the public.
Last week, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar visited the Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim to highlight $10.8 million in projects under the ARRA economic recovery package. The projects include trail repairs, improvements to wastewater systems, repair and rehabilitation of housing, and improvements to the park’s visitor center.
At Grand Canyon National Park, the NPS is investing $1 million to restore the South Kaibab, Uncle Jim and Widfors trails traveled by thousands of visitors and mules each day. Trail crews from two youth groups, the American Conservation Experience (ACE) and Coconino Rural Environmental Corps (CREC), are working with NPS crews to restore the trails. ARRA funding will provide the NPS with an opportunity to continue to employ 70 trail crew members from the youth groups throughout the winter.
“The Recovery Act was designed to put people to work now while making investments that have long-term value for our country and our communities,” Salazar said. “That is what we are seeing at the Grand Canyon and at national parks across the country, where Recovery Act investments are creating jobs while leaving lasting legacies through improved park facilities and infrastructure, and better experiences for visitors.”
About four and a half million people visit the Grand Canyon each year, accounting for $410 million of spending in the local economy and supporting more than 10,000 jobs in gateway communities within 50 miles of the park. In addition, concessionaires in Grand Canyon National Park employ 1,000 people.
The $10.8 million invested at Grand Canyon National Park under the ARRA economic recovery package include the following projects:
- Installation of wastewater flow meters to increase visitor health and safety
- Rehabilitation of four historic and two non-historic structures at Supai Camp
- Rehabilitation of historic South Rim housing units
- Facility upgrades in park management offices and visitor center
- Repair and rehabilitation of housing at Supai Camp
- Replacement of doors and painting of historic South Rim facilities to improve energy efficiency
- Replacement of shingles on South Rim quarters
- Preservation treatment on 130 miles of roads
- Rehabilitation of the historic Trans-Canyon Trail
- Repair of the historic North Rim forest trails and trail structures damaged by wildfire
- Purchase of five alternative fuel transit buses
Nationwide, NPS is working on six types of projects with the ARRA funding: construction, deferred maintenance, energy-efficient equipment replacement, trail restoration, safety improvements for abandoned mine lands, and road maintenance.
In the last project category, NPS will preserve park roads and parkways and rehabilitate deteriorated road networks. With the ARRA funding, NPS will seal roads as well as resurface and repave them, correct erosion and drainage problems, and repair culverts.
The NPS is responsible for 5,450 paved miles of public park roads, 6,544 miles of unpaved roads, the equivalent of 948 paved miles of parking areas, and 1,679 structures such as bridges, culverts, and tunnels.
For more information about NPS economic stimulus projects, visit this