Earlier this week the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, announced over $200,000 in grants to be awarded to the thirteen national parks selected to participate in the 2012 Active Trails program, including Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Now in its fourth round of grants, the National Park Foundation's Active Trails program promotes national parks as a venue for community engagement and encourages healthy living through various forms of recreation and volunteer service on land and water trails.
"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!).
The full list of 2012 Active Trails Grantees can be found here.
Hiking Trails in the Smokies