~ From a press release issued by Shenandoah National Park
In 2020, The Shenandoah National Park Trust aims to raise funds to support programs and projects in Shenandoah National Park totaling nearly $1 million. Their generous support will make an enormous positive impact on the park for years to come. The programs for 2020 include:
· Play, Learn, Serve – introduces children through young adults to the outdoors in a fun and engaging way by combining outdoor play with education and public service. It begins with ranger activities in their neighborhoods and schools and progresses to hiking, camping and educational opportunities in their “backyard” national park. In 2019, this program brought over 7400 students to the park!
· Shenandoah Youth Corps – provides an opportunity for youth to immerse themselves in the park and through the experience gain a greater understanding of our public lands. This is a summer job opportunity where they earn a salary while working on various projects that will have a lasting benefit to the park; such as, trail maintenance, monitoring sensitive species, weed elimination, archeology and rehabilitation of historic structures.
· Internships – provides training, work experience and professional development opportunities for young adults to acquire skills necessary to become competitive for future jobs. In 2020, interns will work in the Interpretation and Education, Cultural Resources and Maintenance Divisions.
· Exotic Plants and Trail Maintenance Volunteer Coordinators – helps fight the spread of invasive plants and maintains park trails using the power of volunteers. The coordinators organize volunteer work crews to cut invasive vines, map invasive plants, collect native seeds, salvage native plants, plant native plants in restoration areas, and tackle resource damage along park trails and in campgrounds. In 2019 this program treated invasive plants on over 727 acres, planted over 4000 native plants, and completed 116 trail maintenance projects.
· Invasive Insects – strengthens our park’s resilience to forest health threats by helping to control invasive, non-native insects and protecting the park’s native plants and other species from decline.
· Managing Human-Bear Interactions – reduces negative human-bear interactions at park campgrounds, picnic areas and popular visitor locations through education, prevention, and safety measures to minimize trash problems, assist with food storage, provide public education on proper wildlife viewing practices, and work to prevent illegal wildlife feeding.
· Trail Maintenance – helps maintain and improve the park’s five hundred miles of trails, ensuring it remains a hiker’s paradise for generations to come.
· Research Grant –provides funding for research studies on relevant issues that are critical to preserving and protecting the park’s natural and cultural resources.
· Artist-in-Residence –supports artists during a short-term residence in the park where they create and showcase works of art, often inviting the public to participate alongside them.
· Electric Vehicle Charging Station – allows visitors to charge their vehicles at the electric vehicle charging station at Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51 Skyline Drive).
· Robert Jacobsen Employee Development –enables our employees to attend training courses and conferences to enhance their existing job skills and learn new skills that will help them in their future careers.
· Expert-in-Residence –allows park managers to engage outside experts in natural resource protection, cultural resource preservation, and other park-related goals for short- to mid-term projects.
· Boulder Cabin – the Trust will be raising funds for the renovation and maintenance of Boulder Cabin, a 1911 historic cabin at Skyland Resort that is a contributing feature of the Skyline Drive National Historic Landmark District. It is an excellent example of a cabin from the rustic resort period (1887-1930) of architecture and will be used as a residence and studio space for the Artist-in-Residence program.
Superintendent Jennifer Flynn said “We are sincerely grateful and extend our heartfelt thanks to the Trust and its donors for providing these funds to support essential programs and projects.”
Executive Director Susan Sherman added “The Shenandoah National Park Trust is proud to partner with our park to help ensure its health and vitality. And we’re grateful that our donors recognize the value of this work.”
About the Shenandoah National Park Trust: The Shenandoah National Park Trust is the official non-profit philanthropic partner of Shenandoah National Park. The Trust raises funds to help protect Shenandoah’s wildlife and wild lands, maintain its trails, preserve its historic features, educate youth, and support Shenandoah National Park Rangers. For additional information regarding the Shenandoah National Park Trust visithttp://www.snptrust.org.