Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
CONTACT: John Wright
For Immediate Release: June 16, 2004
(202) 208-6416
Ford Motor Company Donates 12 New
Hybrid SUVs for Use in America's National Parks

Interior Secretary Norton accepts donated vehicles
on behalf of National Park Foundation

WASHINGTON-- On the 101st anniversary of the founding of the Ford Motor Company, the iconic U.S. automaker has donated 12 of its latest-generation, fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles to the National Park Foundation for use in America's national parks. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, who serves as chairman of the foundation - the official nonprofit partner of the national parks - accepted keys to the vehicles today from the company's Chairman and CEO, Bill Ford.

"Ford's long-term commitment to innovative, sustainable transportation solutions will enrich the experience of all national park visitors while protecting our important natural resources," Secretary Norton said today. "I commend the company's efforts in being effective and proud partners of the National Park Foundation."

The 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid is the world's first hybrid sport utility vehicle. The vehicle can operate independently using gas or electric power, minimizing exhaust emissions and maximizing fuel efficiency. Two of the 12 donated vehicles will remain in the Washington, D.C. area for use by park rangers and staff at the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal Historical National Park and select units of the National Capital Region. The remaining vehicles are expected to be utilized in primarily urban national parks in California, Colorado, Massachusetts and New York.

The donation to the National Park Foundation is part of an ongoing effort to provide advanced technology vehicles that help the parks preserve the environment. Ford has assisted with the restoration of a fleet of 33 historic red buses in Glacier National Park. The buses were restored with new chassis and engines that run on cleaner-burning propane fuel. Ford has also donated more than 600 electric vehicles to national parks, state parks and other federal land management agencies in California, Massachusetts, and New York.

The National Park Foundation is the congressionally-chartered nonprofit partner of America's national parks. Created by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation strengthens the enduring connection between the American people and their national parks by raising private funds, making strategic grants, creating innovative partnerships and increasing public awareness. Over the past six years, the National Park Foundation has raised $98 million in grants and program support for units of the National Park Service across the country.


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