Stimulus Projects in National Parks to Boost Local Economies, Improve Park Infrastructure

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   April 22, 2009
Contact:   Andrea Keller Helsel, National Parks Conservation Association, P: 202.454.3332


Stimulus Projects in National Parks to Boost Local Economies, Improve Park Infrastructure

Washington, D.C. – The nation’s leading voice for the national parks, the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) today praised the Department of the Interior announcement of the specific job-creating projects that will be completed in national parks as a result of the more than $900 million in stimulus funding provided by Congress.

“This important reinvestment in the crumbling infrastructure of our national parks is a step that will create jobs in large and small communities nationwide, and help to restore our nation’s heritage for our children and grandchildren,” said National Parks Conservation Association President Tom Kiernan. “There is much more to do to restore our national parks, but this is progress.”

The Department of the Interior’s list of National Park Service infrastructure projects includes restoration of a leaky roof at the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri, where the historic Dred Scott case was heard; rehabilitation of historic buildings at Valley Forge National Historical Park and Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, improving the boardwalks in Yellowstone National Park’s thermal areas, and demolition and replacement of the condemned Quarry Visitor’s Center at Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado. 

The list also includes approximately $90 million worth of solar and energy efficiency modernization projects, many of which will help to reduce the parks’ carbon footprint, lower their operating costs, and demonstrate to millions of visitors that common sense solutions to climate change are available today.

In December, the National Parks Conservation Association published Working Assets: Reinvesting in National Parks to Create Jobs and Protect America’s Heritage, a report which called on Congress and the Administration to include national parks in economic recovery legislation and offered examples of ready-to-go, job-creating infrastructure projects in national parks nationwide.

The final bill passed by Congress in February included a measured investment of $900 million which will help reduce the Park Service’s massive, $9-billion backlog of critical maintenance and preservation projects, and address other park infrastructure needs.

Congress directed approximately $750 million toward national park infrastructure projects through the Department of the Interior; approximately $170 million is provided for national park road repair needs through the Department of Transportation. 

An economic study commissioned by NPCA found that every federal dollar invested in national parks generates at least four dollars economic value to the public.

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