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National Park Service and Nonprofit Partners Benefit from Conservation Grants

WASHINGTON D.C. - Seven small nonprofit organizations dedicated to protecting the rivers in their communities have received grants totaling $30,000 from the National Park Foundation through the Tom's of Maine's River Awareness Campaign. The money will benefit rivers through a wide variety of conservation and recreation projects.

Groups are using the funds for river restoration, canoe access, public awareness, land protection, stream bank stabilization, trail construction, and more. Each project was conceived by community based organizations and responds to the particular needs of local rivers. The recipients, and the projects they will undertake, include:

  • The Damariscotta River Association, $5,000 to restore Alewife habitat and create a viewing area on the Damariscotta River in Maine.
  • Groundwork Elizabeth, $8,500 to put on a high-visibility public relations and beautification event on the Elizabeth River in New Jersey.
  • Friends of Milwaukee's Rivers, $5,000, to build a "rain garden" at Tonowanda Elementary School in the Underwood Creek/Menominee River watershed in Wisconsin.
  • Big Sioux River Corridor Council, $3000 to install signs and create access areas and portages for the Big Sioux Water Trail segment from Sioux Falls to Newton Hills, South Dakota.
  • University Kayak Club $5,000, to formalize three popular river access points and educate whitewater enthusiasts in order to protect the river and riverbanks on the Middle Fork of the Snoqualamie River in Washington.
  • El Rio de los Reyes en Reedley Conservation Trust, $5,000 to protect riparian habitat by creating a formal low-water river crossing on the King's River in California.
  • Lynn Canal Conservation, Inc. $2,000, to help provide a seasonal staff person who provides one-on-one visitor education in a heavily used riverfront recreation area on the Chillkoot River in Alaska.

These nonprofit organizations were eligible for the grants because they have partnered with the National Park Service's Rivers & Trails program to preserve or restore their local rivers and waterways. The Rivers & Trails Program typically provides technical assistance for community-based river conservation, but not funding. Tom's of Maine is helping take this community assistance work further by providing these grants through its River Awareness Campaign.

"These grassroots groups have developed important conservation plans with assistance from NPS, and now they can put them right into action with this funding from Tom's of Maine." said NPS Director Fran Mainella.

The Tom's of Maine Rivers Awareness Program is partnering with Rivers & Trails to enable river groups to accomplish tangible, on-the-ground conservation projects while increasing public awareness of local river issues. The National Park Foundation, created by Congress in 1967 as the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, administers the grants. More information is available at

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June 15, 2019, 10:23 pm PDT

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