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Great News! $750 Million to Restore and Protect National Parks
April 26, 2009 - 12:51pm — Don Neske
750+ Park Projects to Create Jobs Under President Obama’s Economic Recovery Plan
From the Statue of Liberty and Independence Hall to Yellowstone and Death Valley, the National Park Service will undertake more than 750 projects at parks across the country to create jobs, restore and protect our nation’s parks, and preserve our history and heritage for future generations, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today.
The projects reflect an investment of $750 million in our national park system (including $15 million at historically black colleges and universities) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, part of more than $3 billion the Interior Department is investing in the nation’s economy under President Obama’s recovery plan.
Outdoor enthusiasts the world over should be ecstatic! This program far outshines the levels of investment recent administrations have made. The Bush years left our parks in near ruin while the Clinton years were marked by sad indifference.
“Today, by investing $750 million to restore and protect America’s most special places, we are creating a new legacy of stewardship for our national park system while helping our economy stand up again,” said Secretary Salazar. “These projects – at places like Ellis Island in New York and Dinosaur National Monument in Utah – are ready to go and will create jobs in communities across the country.”
The National Park Service’s Recovery Act projects will benefit both large parks such as Yellowstone, where more than $9 million will be spent to completely overhaul an antiquated waste water treatment facility, and smaller parks such as Perry's Victory and International and Peace Memorial in Ohio, where $7 million will be spent in the first phase of renovating the 352-foot monument that commemorates Oliver Hazard Perry’s naval victory during the War of 1812.
“From the Civil War to the Great Depression, America’s best ideas for protecting our national parks and open spaces have often come when our nation has faced its greatest challenges,” said Salazar
All the projects announced today are long-standing priorities of the National Park Service based on its capital planning process. With an array of projects identified by stakeholders as critical, the service worked through a rigorous merit-based process to identify investments that met the criteria put forth in the Recovery Act: namely, that a project addresses the Department’s highest priority mission needs; generates the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time; and creates lasting value for the American public.
Other projects being undertaken include:
- $8.8 million to stabilize the Ellis Island Baggage and Dormitory Building, one of the most significant structures at Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island in New York and New Jersey.
- $13.1 million to demolish and replace condemned portions of the Quarry Visitor Center at Dinosaur National Monument in Utah.
- $54.7 million to undertake six mitigation projects to prepare for the removal of the Elwha Dam and restoration of the Elwha River basin at Olympic National Park in Washington.
- $11.5 million to replace more than 5 miles of water lines at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.
- $5.5 million to rehabilitate Independence Hall Tower at Independence National Historical Park in Pennsylvania.
- $2.37 million to reclaim abandoned mine lands and restore the natural landscape at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado.
- $304,000 to install gates and protect visitors at Greenwater Valley at Death Valley National Park in California.
- $585,000 to rehabilitate historic bridle trails at Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C.
- $5 million to replace the roof of the historic Old Courthouse at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in Missouri.
- $30.5 million to repair the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and $7.3 million to restore the District of Columbia War Memorial at the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C.
Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department of the Interior’s economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on the recovery web site and at http://recovery.doi.gov/
The website includes an interactive map that enables the public also to follow where and how the department’s recovery dollars are being spent.
Secretary Salazar also has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force. Henderson and the Task Force will work closely with the Department of the Interior’s Inspector General to ensure that the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency that President Obama has set.
Almost every state and every kind of outdoor enthusiast benefits from NPS Recovery Projects:
- $100,000 to restore trails and fields at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park (KY).
- $71,000 to install a photovoltaic system for headquarters and maintenance building at Adams National Historical Park (MA).
- $68,000 to replace the Visitor Center roof at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument (NE).
- $108,000 to preserve historic headstones at Antietam National Battlefield (MD).
- $448,000 to rehabilitate boardwalks in the Sinepuxent District of Assateague Island National Seashore (MD).
- $212,000 to replace the boardwalk on Cliff Shelf Trail in Badlands National Park (SD).
- $199,000 to rehabilitate trails in Big Bend National Park (TX).
- $477,000 to repair flood damage at Buffalo National River (AR).
- $56,000 to repair and replace fire hydrants at Catoctin Mountain Park (MD).
- $359,000 to install photovoltaic system at Craters of the Moon National Monument (ID).
- $1.8 million to eliminate failing septic systems in the Village of Everett and provide a new pump station in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (OH).
- $13.1 million will be used to demolish and replace condemned portions of the Quarry Visitor Center at Dinosaur National Monument (CO).
- $304,000 will be used to install gates and protect visitors near an abandoned mine site in California’s Death Valley National Park.
- $6.3 million to replace waste water treatment facility and rehabilitate collection system at Denali National Park and Preserve (AK).
- $2.2 million to stabilize Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park (FL).
- $26 million to stabilize the Baggage and Dormitory Building and seawall at Ellis Island (NY).
- .$119,000 to install a wind turbine and battery system at Anaktuvuk Pass Ranger Station in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve (AK).
- $397,000 to repair backcountry trails and campgrounds in Glacier National Park (MT).
- $418,000 to prevent further corrosion of submerged structures at Bartlett Cove Marine Facilities in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve (AK).
- $550,000 to rehabilitate the historic trans-canyon trail at Grand Canyon National Park (AZ).
- $2.37 million to reclaim abandoned mine lands and restore the natural landscape at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (CO).
- $415,000 to rehabilitate trails and remove exotic plants on the George Washington Memorial Parkway (VA).
- $24.3 million to repair or rehabilitate roads in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (TN/NC).
- $75,000 to install solar-powered security lighting in Gulf Islands National Seashore (FL).
- $1.3 million to repair and replace fences at Haleakala National Park in Hawaii.
- $5 million to rehabilitate Independence Hall Tower (PA).
- $5 million to replace the roof of the historic old courthouse at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in Missouri (MO).
- $179,000 to improve safety and habitat conditions at an abandoned mine site in Kenai Fjords National Park (AK).
- $700,000 to install a photovoltaic system on the Visitor Center at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (GA).
- $30.5 million to repair the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool (DC).
- $834,000 to install a photovoltaic system at Lake Mead National Recreation Area (NV).
- $181,000 to rehabilitate South Slough Loop Trail at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park (OR).
- $11.5 million to replace more than five miles of water lines at Mesa Verde National Park (CO).
- $7.3 million to restore the District of Columbia War Memorial at the National Mall and Memorial Parks (DC).
- $54.7 million to complete six mitigation projects in preparation for the removal of the Elwha Dam and restoration of the Elwha River basin in Olympic National Park (WA).
- $585,000 to rehabilitate historic bridle trails at Rock Creek Park (DC).
- $9.4 million to rehabilitate 16 historic overlooks along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park (VA).
- $22,000 to rehabilitate park trails with Alaska Native Youth Partnership in Sitka National Historical Park (AK).
- $340,000 to rehabilitate and develop Twin Lakes Campground at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve (AK).
- $1.2 million for hybrid electric shuttle buses in Yosemite National Park (CA).
For a full list of the Stimulus Projects, go to the Department’s Recovery Web Site: Then Click on Oversight
We also suggest you see Alternative Energy Projects funded by the Stimulus Money or Re-investment Act.
For our next Green Article: http://www.gettingoutside.com/Leave+No+Trace+Outdoor+Green+Tips