2015 Funding Priority | Amount Needed $14,800
This project will fund transportation to enable more than 200 youth to visit North Cascades National Park through four partnership programs. Despite their close proximity, many youth in nearby communities are not able to access the park. The gateway towns of Concrete and Darrington suffer from dwindling economies; both school districts provide free or reduced lunch at rates around 60%. Funds from this project will provide transportation to send 5th grade students from Concrete and Darrington to Mountain School at North Cascades Institute. Middle school students from Darrington will also visit the park during a field trip in the spring. The project will also enable the Concrete Summer Learning Adventures program to bring youth to the park as part of a summer camp that provides meals and literacy lessons for Concrete elementary students. Finally, funds from this project will also support visits to the park by the Kulshan Creek Youth Program, which engages low-income Latino youth from Mt Vernon in the outdoors.
At North Cascades National Park Complex, we are developing the next generation of public land stewards by deliberately connecting existing youth programs and partnerships to create a continuum of meaningful park-based experiences. Transportation costs can create an insurmountable barrier to underserved communities; this project will help remove this barrier at a critical time in the development of NOCA Youth programs.