WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that the National Park Foundation (NPF) has awarded three grants totaling $39,700 to national parks in Maryland. An $18,250 grant will develop trails at Antietam National Battlefield, while $11,000 and $10,450 grants to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park and the Catoctin Mountain Park, respectively, will allow teachers at area schools to develop service-learning projects and other lesson plans involving the parks.
“Maryland’s national parks are natural, historical and economic treasures, drawing in thousands of visitors each year,” said Senator Cardin, who is a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and has long fought for funding to develop national parks and greenways across Maryland. “These grants will help preserve our national parks for generations to come and allow them to continue imparting Marylanders with lessons about our state’s rich history.”
“Preserving Antietam National Battlefield, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park and Catoctin Mountain Park helps preserve Maryland’s rich history and culture,” Senator Mikulski said. “I’m proud to fight for Maryland in the Senate, and I am proud to see these grants restoring, refreshing and revitalizing our local treasures.”
The NPF’s Active Trails Grant to Antietam National Battlefield will establish new trails, rehabilitate existing trails, and provide interactive points of interest along park trails in preparation for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 2012.
The NPF’s Park Stewards Grants to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park and the Catoctin Mountain Park will provide high school teachers with immersive training throughout the summer in the parks, where they will learn about each park and then develop park-related service-learning projects and lesson plans to be implemented in the upcoming school year. Students from Allegany County Public Schools will explore the cultural, natural and architectural elements of the C&O National Historic Park, while students from North Hagerstown High School will participate in a hands-on environmental program focusing on invasive plants at Catoctin Mountain Park.
The National Park Foundation is an independent charitable organization chartered by Congress in 1967 to strengthen the connection between the American people and their national parks.