Mammoth Cave receives grant to help outdoor education

(Photo: Mammoth Cave National Park)
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MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky. (WBKO) -- Friday, Mammoth Cave National Park received a $10,000 Every Kid Outdoors grant from the National Park Foundation to provide Environmental Education (EE) opportunities to 1,800 4th graders during the 2019-2020 school year.

The grant goes towards field trip and in-classroom learning activities that focus on educating students on geology, biology, and how good environmental stewardship can positively affect the world around them.

“The National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, is expanding the impact of the Every Kid Outdoors initiative through its Open OutDoors for Kids program connecting 4th grade students to Mammoth Cave National Park with funding support for field trips this school year,” said a statement from the National Park Foundation.

The $10,000 grant will allow park EE staff to visit 13 highly diverse Fayette County Elementary schools during April of 2020. The remaining grant funds will be used to provide cave tour ticket and bus assistance to 12 local schools.

“The grant we are receiving from the National Park Foundation will go a long way in helping us introduce students to Mammoth Cave National Park,” said Jennifer Shackelford, Environmental Education Coordinator.

The Every Kid Outdoors grant is being received through the Friends of Mammoth Cave, the nonprofit partner of Mammoth Cave National Park, who works to secure funding for projects and programs that protect, preserve, and enhance the natural and cultural resources and visitor experience at Mammoth Cave.

The Every Kid Outdoors Program was established by Congress in 2019. It replaces the Every Kid in a Park Program which was launched in 2015. It is an interagency collaboration between the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Forest Service.