YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

Yellowstone National Park is one of 39 national parks receiving a 2014 America’s Best Idea grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks.

NPF awarded the $20,000 grant to Yellowstone, which will this summer partner with Groundwork USA – a national network of nonprofits working to transform community liabilities into quality assets, and to engage residents in improving quality of life in their own neighborhoods.

Fifty-five Green Team youth and leaders representing 15 Groundwork USA Trusts will participate in one of two weeklong programs at Yellowstone this August. The first program runs from Aug. 5-12, and the second week is Aug. 18-26. Youth will participate in completing work projects such as installing bear-safe food storage boxes in campgrounds, painting picnic tables, and working on trails.

Other activities include sessions on leadership, sustainability, ecological relationships, stewardship, cultural heritage, and career development. Groups will have recreational opportunities to tour and hike the park.

“We were thrilled to receive a National Park Foundation grant this year,” said Judy Knuth Folts, Yellowstone’s Deputy Chief for the Division of Resource Education and Youth Programs. “In addition to completing important work at Yellowstone, [youths] will complete a Yellowstone-inspired project when they return to their home communities, meaning more people will hear about the park and the National Park Service mission.”

Established by a federal interagency agreement, Groundwork USA Trusts work on the ground in distressed neighborhoods to achieve the mission and goals of the NPS Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program, as well as the EPA Brownfields and Urban Waters Programs.

Designed to serve diverse, disadvantaged youth, the national Green Team initiative is a conservation program that strongly emphasizes youth leadership, employment skills, resume-building experience and awareness of local and global environmental justice issues.

Inspired by Ken Burns’ critically acclaimed documentary series, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” the grant program builds partnerships between national parks and community, state, and other public organizations, while inspiring participants to become stewards of our national park system.

Visit nps.gov/yell to learn more about Yellowstone National Park; nationalparks.org for more information on the National Park Foundation; and groundworkusa.org for more about Groundwork USA.