Biscayne National Park, the South Florida National Parks Trust, the City of Homestead and Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund recently received 2015 National Park Service Centennial Challenge Grants.
The grants are part of a multi-year effort to prepare for the National Park Service Centennial in 2016. Two grants were awarded to Biscayne National Park and its partners, including Disney Worldwide Conservation and the Florida Museum of Natural History’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity for conservation and recovery of the endangered Schaus’ swallowtail butterfly. Biscayne also received a grant to work with the City of Homestead to commemorate African American conservation hero Lancelot Jones.
The NPS Centennial Grant Program includes $26 million for restoration projects nationwide, including $16 million from non-governmental partners. The NPS Southeast Region grants will fund 25 projects totaling over $3 million dollars.
“The Centennial Challenge Program is a great way to leverage federal dollars with private matching funds,” said Superintendent Brian Carlstrom. “The park could not engage youth or assist with the recovery of the endangered Schaus’ swallowtail butterfly on this scale without the support of our partners.”
The Schaus’ swallowtail grant to the University of Florida will fund a series of key conservation and monitoring objectives for the butterfly, including five youth field researchers and five youth volunteers who will conduct environmental education activities on Elliott Key where the butterfly lives.
The second grant will support the development of traveling exhibits to tell the story of African American conservation hero Lancelot Jones and a special public event to celebrate the pending Lancelot Jones Water Trolley. Funding for this grant was provided by the South Florida National Parks Trust, the National Park Service and the City of Homestead.
The NPS Centennial includes the Find Your Park campaign, which connects a broader audience to public lands and incorporates President Obama’s Every Kid in a Park initiative giving fourth-graders and their families free access to national parks and federal lands and waters for a year. To qualify for a Centennial Challenge Grant, projects need to demonstrate they benefit the national park system, contribute toward agency goals and have partners who were ready, willing and able to contribute at least 50 percent of the project.
For more information about Biscayne National Park please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/bisc or follow the park on Facebook at www.facebook.com/biscaynenps, Twitter at www.twitter.com/biscaynenps or Instagram atwww.instagram.com/biscaynenps.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.