Congressman Roscoe Bartlett announced today that Antietam National Battlefield and Catoctin Mountain Park have been selected to receive separate grants from the National Park Foundation as part of its Active Trails program. The Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, MD will receive a $17,700 grant. The Catoctin Mountain Park in Catoctin, MD will receive a $20,000 grant. The National Parks Foundation is a Congressionally-chartered non-profit organization which raises private funds and administers volunteer programs in support of America's National Parks. The Coca Cola Foundation has teamed up with the National Parks Foundation to support the Active Trails program.
The grant allocated to the Antietam National Battlefield will be used to refurbish and rehabilitate the Rohrbach group campground, as well as restore the Boy Scouts of America Historic Trail, which begins at the campground. The grant allocated to the Catoctin Mountain Park will be used to prioritize and plan correction of over 200 documented trail maintenance issues. The grant will leverage contributions from a newly formed alliance of diverse park partner groups, youth and adult, who will promote the local trail system for its recreational and health benefits, make vital repairs and perform general trail maintenance.
Congressman Bartlett said, "Chartered by the U.S. Congress and privately funded, the National Park Foundation organizes the efforts of countless volunteers nationwide to care for our National Parks. Thanks to contributions by generous donors including the Coca Cola Foundation, these two grants from the Foundation will be used at Antietam National Battlefield and Catoctin Mountain Park to maintain these heritage sites for current and future generations."
In reference to the Antietam National Battlefield, Congressman Bartlett added, "Scouts comprise a significant proportion of the more than 1,400 volunteers who prepare and place 23,110 individual luminary candles on this hallowed ground for the Antietam National Battlefield Memorial Illumination that takes place on the first Saturday in December. Each flickering candle represents a soldier who fell there September 17, 1862, the bloodiest one-day military battle in American history. Almost one-third of those 23,110 men died from their wounds. The 24th Antietam National Battlefield Memorial Illumination will take place on Saturday, December 1, 2012. This grant will help the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other volunteers who use Rohrbach campground, its facilities, and the adjacent hiking trail to gain understanding and a greater appreciation of the true costs of war and the sacrifices by generations of the members of our military and their families."
The National Park Foundation has granted over $1.2 million though its Active Trails program since its creation in 2008. To date, Active Trails has enlisted the help of more than 3,100 volunteers and 86 project partners who, combined, have contributed more than 13,000 hours to help promote, refurbish, or build national park trails.
In addition to Antietam National Battlefield and Catoctin Mountain Park, the 2012 Active Trails grantees include: the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Great Smokey Mountains National Park, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Kennesaw Mountain Nation Battlefield Park, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Mesa Verde National Park, New River Gorge National River, River Raisin National Battlefield, and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. A listing of these parks and their Active Trails project descriptions can be found on the National Park Foundation website .