FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2020


More than $360,000 awarded to 19 projects that promote access to outdoor recreation, stewardship, and connecting people to the outdoors.

Washington, D.C. (September 15, 2020) – Today, National Park Trust in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), announced 19 education and outdoor recreation projects that are funded by the NPS Challenge Cost Share Program and matched by community and nonprofit partners. Each project works to connect local communities to their national parks, national trails, and wild and scenic rivers. Projects include engaging people in active healthy outdoor recreation or in education initiatives that increase knowledge about our nation’s natural and cultural heritage.

“National Park Trust is thrilled to partner with the National Park Service and many local partners across the country to connect all people to national parks and engage a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts and stewards. The Challenge Cost Share program is one of the most effective initiatives that leverage public and private funds and invests in local partnerships that deliver results.”

Grace Lee, Executive Director, National Park Trust

“Working with the National Park Trust has allowed the National Park Service to better preserve our parks while creating park stewards for tomorrow. Local partner organizations across the country are contributing their skills, talents, and resources to conservation and outdoor recreation projects that provide increased public access while protecting our national parks.”

Stephan Nofield, National Program Manager, National Park Service

A sample of the 2020 projects includes:

  • Installation of educational gardens at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument;
  • Training urban and rural youth in trail construction at Rocky Mountain National Park;
  • Providing place-based education and workforce development opportunities for local youth at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.

At First State Historical Park in Delaware, nearly 100 program participants will explore local waterways by canoe and take part in watershed stewardship, learning valuable Watershed STEM lessons meant to spark interest in watershed ecology and illustrate the importance of local waterways past and present.

In Boston, Massachusetts, high school students are participating in a Green Ambassador program where they will work with NPS staff from Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park to develop knowledge and skills in environmental science, resource stewardship, and park management. At Indiana Dunes National Park in Indiana, military and veteran families will have outdoor adventures while they enjoy the health benefits of spending time in nature. Families in Southern Florida will be introduced to fishing, snorkeling, and paddling experiences in Biscayne and Everglades National Parks.

Partnerships make these projects possible. The National Park Service is providing $386,000 in direct financial support. Community and non-profit organizations that partner with local National Park Service sites have pledged more than $750,000 in direct and in-kind support to individual projects across the country. National Park Trust is administering the program and leveraging additional financial resources to deepen the program’s impact and reach.


National Park Trust is a non-profit dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. The Park Trust is the only land trust with a comprehensive mission of preserving national parks through land protection and creating a pipeline of future park stewards by connecting kids to parks. Since 1983, National Park Trust has benefitted 48 national park sites across 28 states, one U.S. Territory, and Washington, D.C. Annually, the Park Trust provides an estimated 20,000 under-served kids with park trips through their nationally recognized Buddy Bison Programs and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest, both of which support nearly 300 Title I schools. Find out more at


More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

Media Contact: Ivan Levin at 540.818.5818 or