Sleeping Bear Dunes Events: National measures are being taken to help maintain the beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore area, a local paradise not far from Traverse City. Recently the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes have been selected to receive a 2012 Active Trails Grant from the National Park Foundation, which is the official charity of America's national parks. Currently in it's fourth cycle, the National Parks Foundation's Active Trails program works to promote national parks as venues for community engagement and to encourage healthy living through various forms of recreation and volunteer activity on land and water trails.
The $18,000 grand enables the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes to purchase signage for the first segment of the new Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail (SBHT), and to develop a "Trail Ambassador" volunteer program to assist in patrols and maintenance of the SBHT. The Trail will officially open on June 20, 2012, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:30 p.m.
“Maintaining over 18,000 miles of trails is no small task,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “The Active Trail funds help parks across the country create or expand vital trail related projects, improving the visitor experience and encouraging engagement opportunities with each parks’ gateway community.”
Since 2008, the National Park Foundation has granted over $1.2 million through its Active Trails program. To date, Active Trails has engaged more than 3,100 volunteers and 86 project partners who combined have contributed over 13,000 hours to help promote, refurbish, or build national park trails that were ultimately enjoyed by 291,000 visitors (and counting!).
Dusty Shultz, Superintendent of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, noted how important the Active Trails Grant is to the opening of the SBHT. “The National Park Foundation’s Active Trails Grant to the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes fills a critical need for the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. Trail signage was not included in the initial construction grant, and the Trail Ambassador and maintenance program can now be put in place for the trail opening.”
A listing of all of the parks which recieved grants from the National Park Foundation grand to maintainActive Trails project can be found on the National Park Foundation website.
For more information on the National Park Foundation or how you can support and protect America’s national parks, please visit nationalparks.org.
Also, for more information about Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, please visit their website at www.nps.gov/slbe. Program information is also available on the park’s Facebook page at facebook.com/sbdnl and Twitter feed.
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