NPS & Outdoor Foundation Announce 2016 Challenge Cost Share Projects

Seventeen New Projects for Conservation and Outdoor Recreation

National Park Service and Outdoor Foundation Announce 2016 Challenge Cost Share Projects
National Park Service and Outdoor Foundation Announce 2016 Challenge Cost Share Projects
The Outdoor Foundation
The Outdoor Foundation

Washington, DC -( The National Park Service (NPS), in partnership with the Outdoor Foundation, announced 17 conservation and outdoor recreation projects that are funded by the NPS Challenge Cost Share Program and matched by community and nonprofit partners.

Each project works to introduce Americans to their national parks, national trails, and wild and scenic rivers. Projects include engaging people in active healthy outdoor recreation or in conservation efforts that strengthen our natural and cultural heritage. Explore the NPS Challenge Cost Share projects for 2016.

The NPS Challenge Cost Share projects celebrate the National Park Service’s centennial – 100 years of protecting America’s special places. “Working with the Outdoor Foundation has allowed the National Park Service to engage new partners in the conservation and outdoor recreation stewardship and enjoyment of our public lands,” said Bob Ratcliffe, NPS Chief of Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Programs.

A sample of the 2016 projects includes:

  • Restoring wetlands at the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail;
  • Training youth in the construction of a trail network at Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park;
  • Participating in conservation projects at Timpanogos Cave National Monument and nearby communities in Utah through an Urban Ranger program.

In Baltimore, more than a thousand youth and adults will have opportunities to kayak the Patapsco River to learn about the natural and cultural history of the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. Similar water recreation and education opportunities will be provided to participants from Chicago and northern Indiana by the partners and staff at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Many of the 2016 projects contribute to Every Kid in a Park – a Presidential initiative to bring every fourth grader in America to a national park or other federal public lands. In Las Vegas, Nevada, NPS staff and partners are working to help thousands of youth get to Lake Mead National Recreation Area. At the Wekiva Wild & Scenic River in Florida, the National Park Service is partnering with elementary schools to guide students in exploring river ecology. A new outdoor environmental education program is being developed at Colonial National Historical Park in Virginia.

Partnerships make these projects possible. The National Park Service is providing $386,000 in direct financial support. Many outdoor retailers who are members of the Outdoor Industry Association are contributing equipment and labor to local projects. The Outdoor Foundation is administering the program and exploring ways to leverage additional financial resources. This year, the Outdoor Foundation received a $200,000 donation from an anonymous donor to expand the NPS Challenge Cost Share model in Northern California. The greatest support comes from community and nonprofit organizations that partner with the National Park Service to provide for these outdoor recreation and conservation projects.

In 2016, the partners have pledged $760,000 in direct and in-kind support to individual projects across the country.

About the National Park Service:

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for the 410 parks in the National Park System and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

About the Outdoor Foundation:

The Outdoor Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor leaders and enthusiasts. Through groundbreaking research, youth engagement and community grant-making, the Foundation works with young leaders and partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In just five years, the Outdoor Foundation has invested $4 million into 500 not-for-profit and college programs that have connected 200,000 young people to the outdoors. Importantly, 90¢ of every dollar goes directly into this critical work.

Visit us at