Unilever awards $500,000 to the National Park Foundation

33 national parks to create new programs inviting youth to learn about their ancestries, gain leadership skills and discover the beauty of their parks.

Washington, DC - May 12, 2010 – Inspired by the epic Ken Burns documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, the National Park Foundation is proud to announce the second phase of a new grant program connecting underserved audiences, primarily people of color and youth, to the national parks. The Foundation, in partnership with Unilever, has awarded America’s Best Idea Grants, to 33 national parks across the country to develop outreach strategies and engagement programs for people who are traditionally under-represented in their local national parks.

“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. “As the public learned in the Ken Burns documentary, the national parks were first protected by everyday citizens who loved these lands. With these grants, we’re bringing new audiences into the parks so they can also develop a lifelong commitment to these incredible spaces.”

“At Unilever, we work to create a better future every day,” said Fiona C. Laird, SVP Human Resources & Communications, Unilever Americas. “Our support of America’s Best Idea Grants helps create a better future for both America’s youth and our environment.”

Some of the projects about to launch through the 2010 America’s Best Idea Grants Include:

  • Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area: The “Back to the Land” week-long field school program will bring high school students from the nearby Crow Indian Reservation to witness their history through hands-on experiences focusing on archaeological sites directly related to their ancestors.
  • Grand Teton National Park: The “Children in Nature Multicultural Engagement Program” will engage under-served Latino youth, and provide leadership development, mentoring or scaffolding opportunities, and study of the area's natural resources.
  • St. Croix National Scenic Riverway: The "In a New Light" program will immerse at-risk teens in the beauty of the park as they embark on a photographic journey taught by professional nature photographers.

A full listing of the parks participating in the America’s Best Idea grants is available.

Additional support for the America’s Best Idea Grants is generously given by The Ahmanson Foundation and other donors to the National Park Foundation.

About the National Park Foundation

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. www.nationalparks.org

FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/nationalpark

TWITTER http://twitter.com/goparks

Unilever United States, Inc.

Unilever US, Inc
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+1 201 894 7760


Mark Shields - National Park Foundation

T: +1 202 354 6480


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