|Mrs. Laura Bush and National Park Foundation Venture To The Everglades to Announce 2008 Jr. Ranger Essay Contest.|
WASHINGTON, DC (February 6, 2007) –National Park Foundation President
and CEO Vin Cipolla and the Foundation’s Honorary Chairwoman Mrs.
Laura Bush ventured into the Everglades National Park to launch the
National Park Foundation 2008 Junior. Ranger Essay contest in a special outdoor
event. Before the announcement they joined National Park Service Director,
Mrs. Mary Bomar and 30 fifth grade students from Florida City Elementary School
for a lesson about native plants at “The Hole in the Doughnut,” the
site of a major native plant restoration project.
“The Hole in the Doughnut” area was previously farmland where the soil was left severely depleted of nutrients needed to support native plant life. The work of National Park Service Exotic Plant Biologists has helped eliminate invasive plants like the Brazilian Pepper in an effort to return wetland prairie to the area.
The National Park Foundation challenged America’s pint-sized rangers with the question: “What can you do now to turn over a new leaf for the environment and help preserve our national parks?” The contest is open to children 9-12 years old, and the grand prize winner will travel with his or her family to the Everglades on Earth Day to star in an Electronic Field Trip – an educational “virtual” outing that will be presented in schools across the U.S. – to examine native and exotic plants in our national parks.
“In today’s world, taking personal responsibility for the care of the environment is essential, and it’s a mission that involves the whole family,” said Vin Cipolla, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “By teaching our children the value of conservation and preservation though programs like First Bloom and the Junior Ranger Essay Contest, we at the National Park Foundation are helping America’s youth lead the way in protecting our national parks for generations to come.”About the National Park Foundation: The National Park Foundation (www.nationalparks.org) is a 501(c)(3) organization chartered by Congress in 1967 to continue a century-long tradition of private philanthropy ensuring funding to preserve and enhance the legacy of our National Parks. As the official non-profit partner of America’s National Parks, the National Park Foundation does not receive federal appropriations for their support. The National Park Foundation serves to strengthen the connection between the American people and their national parks by raising private funds, making strategic grants, creating innovative partnerships and increasing public awareness. Support of the National Park Foundation ensures that the evolving history and rich heritage of our Nation remains vital and relevant.