The nonprofit was chosen as one of 19 from throughout the U.S. by the National Park Service and National Park Trust
Timucuan Parks Foundation has been chosen as one of the 2020 Challenge Cost Share Program recipients by the National Park Service and National Park Trust. The program supports projects that promote improved access and opportunities for outdoor recreation, environmental stewardship, and education in national parks, national trails, and/or wild and scenic rivers. It is expected to engage more than 12,400 youth in 2020. TPF’s project was one of 19 selected from 74 applications. The National Park Service and National Park Trust awarded $380,000 that will be matched by an estimated $750,825 in direct and in-kind contributions from recipients.
TPF received $25,000 to support programs that engage diverse young audiences in service-learning and exploration in the Timucuan Preserve. TPF will work in partnership with the National Park Service’s Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve to provide virtual salt marsh and estuary education programming to public school students in the fall and spring. The award will support TPF’s work to provide a day of kayaking and exploration in the Timucuan Preserve and service-learning projects for special needs youth and will help to support the Groundwork Green Team Youth Corps’ Kingsley Plantation project and a visit to this culturally significant site. The award will also be used for supplies and virtual and onsite education programming aimed at elementary students on the history of Fort Caroline National Memorial and how northeast Florida’s coastal ecosystems impacted the Timucua natives.
“We are thankful for the support of the National Park Service and National Park Trust that allows us to introduce our national park service sites to the youth in our community,” said Felicia Boyd, program and outreach director for TPF. “We want them to experience and learn about Jacksonville’s rich history and culture and natural ecosystems, to generate excitement and a sense of place.”
The initiative requires a 1:1 financial or in-kind match by the local non-profit recipient — resulting in greater financial leverage and impact. The goals of the program are to:
- Improve recreation opportunities, access and infrastructure;
- Provide on-water youth education, recreation and/or stewardship opportunities;
- Protect and restore trails or rivers/riverside lands;
- Steward through public engagement; or
- Increase public use and awareness.
“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,” said Grace Lee, executive director of National Park Trust. “The Challenge Cost Share program is one of the most effective initiatives that leverages public and private funds and invests in local partnerships that deliver results.”