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Grant helps NPS break down barriers
A dozen Spanish-speaking San Juan Island children learned more about the national park in their backyard and about national parks nationwide thanks to a $15,000 grant from the National Park Foundation and a partnership with San Juan Island Library.
San Juan Island National Historical Park received a 2013 "America’s Best Idea" grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks.
Inspired by the Ken Burns’ documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” the America’s Best Idea program funds park activities designed to connect diverse populations throughout the United States with their national parks.
The park is using a portion of the funds for a pilot program in partnership with the library to reach out to Spanish-speaking audiences on the island. The first program kicked off Thursday, Sept. 5 and will continue to be offered in conjunction with the library’s English as a Second Language program, 6:30 to 7: 15 p.m., Thursday evenings through Oct. 3.
Topics include an overview of America’s National Parks; why the San Juan Island National Historical Park was created and how it preserves cultural and natural features for future generations; the park’s cultural history from the first peoples to the joint military occupation and beyond; and the plants and animals in the park. On the final evening each child will complete a Junior Ranger activity book and be awarded a badge and a patch.
The park is also creating Spanish-language pages on its website, a Spanish-language Junior Ranger activity booklet, and Spanish language versions of education programs.