The National Park Foundation received a $500,000 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. The grant was given to the official charity of America’s national parks in celebration of National Park Week. The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund wants to help connect kids to nature through America’s national parks. Disney’s donation will go specifically to the National Park Foundation’s “Ticket to Ride” program, which helps students explore the outdoors by providing transportation to national parks around the country.
“Providing the means for America’s youth to experience all that our national park system has to offer is imperative,” said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “Disney’s support has helped make it possible for us to engage thousands of young people in life changing park experiences, and ultimately inspiring the next generation of park enthusiasts.”
The “Ticket to Ride” program provides financial resources for transportation, in-park educational programming, and meals that make national park field trips possible for schools across the country. The grant from Disney will help more than 60,000 students to experience location-based learning in their local national parks this year. Through these field trips, students can discover their heritage, participate in both volunteer and service-learning activities, enjoy recreational opportunities, and begin a lifelong relationship with their national parks.
In addition to the grant, Disney’s Friends for Change, a program that inspires kids and families to make a positive impact on their world by helping people and the planet, developed a public service announcement that will air on the Disney Channel and Disney Online. The ad encourages kids and families to explore the outdoors, whether at a local, state, or national park. Disney Friends for Change also created an online action kit that helps families plan a park visit in four easy steps and provides ideas on park activities ranging from hikes to wildlife exploration.
“The more kids are exposed to the great outdoors, the more they appreciate and understand the beauty and value of our natural resources, from our national parks to our own backyards,” said Leslie Goodman, senior vice president of Disney Corporate Citizenship. “Disney is proud to work in collaboration with National Park Foundation to make a park experience possible for tens of thousands of young people. We hope that these outdoor adventures inspire lifelong conservation values.”
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