May 31, 2012

Manchin, Rockefeller, Rahall Announce More Than $22,000 to Support National Park Recreational Opportunities

New River Gorge National River and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park will receive funding to bring more kids to the park and improve trails

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller, along with Congressman Nick Rahall, (all D-W.Va.), announced today that more than $22,000 will be awarded to the New River Gorge National River and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park to improve trails and bring more youth to the parks. The funding comes from the National Park Foundation’s Active Trails Program.

The New River Gorge National River will receive $18,000 to support Trips for Kids, a non-profit organization that gives underserved middle and high school students an opportunity to take mountain bike trips and develop an interest in recreational outdoor activity. 

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park will receive $4,216 to buy necessary supplies to mark approximately 16 miles of trails with clear markers. The funding will also print 20,000 four-color, folded copies of a new, comprehensive trail map.

“West Virginia is one of the most beautiful states in our great nation, and the people of our state and visitors from all over the world should enjoy our spectacular landscape,” Senator Manchin said. “Our parks have so much to offer, and I truly believe that encouraging the next generation to enjoy the outdoors is a commonsense investment in both a healthy future for our children and the natural gifts that we all share.”

“West Virginia is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts,” said Senator Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. “We have so many adventures to offer and this funding gives so many children, both in the state and from outside, the opportunity to experience West Virginia.  I know the kids visiting the New River Gorge and Harpers Ferry will fall in love with our state’s natural beauty and be excellent advocates for West Virginia.”

“The New River Gorge is one heck of a backyard for our kids to grow up in, yet, getting them outdoors, exercising and building stronger bodies, is a challenge, especially for those families without the resources to do so.  This funding blazes a new trail for kids who otherwise would miss an opportunity that others travel hundreds of miles to enjoy,” said Rep. Rahall, the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and former Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee on which he served for 33 years in Congress.  “Exercise is one of the best paths to good health on which we can guide our young.  I thank all those involved in the wise and sound investment.”

The National Park Foundation’s Active Trail Program helps promote, restore and build national park trails. The program plays a critical role in the conservation and preservation of national parks to promote recreational opportunities for visitors to enjoy nationwide.