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American Hiking Society is increasing citizen stewardship in National Parks through Volunteer Vacations
SILVER SPRING, MD- June 28, 2016 –American Hiking Society (AHS) is proud to announce The North Face awarded a 2016 Explore Fund grant in support of Volunteer Vacations, a trail stewardship program that engages individuals, families, and communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation of America’s hiking trails and public lands.
“We are thrilled that The North Face has recognized American Hiking Society’s Volunteer Vacations program as part of the national movement to inspire and engage people in outdoor exploration,” commented Gregory Miller, American Hiking Society’s President. “In supporting American Hiking Society’s Volunteer Vacations program, The North Face is empowering a new generation of trail stewards, providing critical volunteer assistance to public land managers, and inspiring outdoor enthusiasts to champion environmental conservation issues across the country.”
In 2016, to celebrate the National Park Service (NPS) Centennial and American Hiking Society’s 40th Anniversary, American Hiking volunteers will assist the National Park Service with their extensive backlog of trail maintenance deferrals, engage Americans to be stewards of their public lands, and inspire trail users to take responsibility for the places they love to hike.
According to the NPS, it would cost $655M to maintain the more than 18,000 miles of trails in the 409 national park units in the United States. Continued neglect of these national park trails is not an option. American Hiking Society is committed to addressing this crushing maintenance backlog and ensure there are safe and accessible trails available for future generations to enjoy. In 2016, Volunteer Vacations in national parks will improve trail access for more than 270,000 trail users and offer positive and fun outdoor stewardship experiences for Americans of all walks of life.
The North Face selected a total of 45 nonprofits that engage their participants in opportunities that inspire a lifelong love of the outdoors. American Hiking Society was voted one of the top grantees for 2016, because like The North Face, American Hiking’s Volunteer Vacations program uses outdoor exploration as a catalyst for positive personal and societal change, encourages individuals to try new outdoor activities, and promotes environmental stewardship values.
“Encouraging people to experience and enjoy the outdoors has been our mission at The North Face since we were founded 50 years ago,” said Ann Krcik, senior director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face. “We are proud to support these outstanding programs that expose participants to the beauty and joy of the outdoors. Through these Explore Fund grants, we are building a community of outdoor explorers and inspiring people to love and protect the places where we play.”
As part of its mission to start a global movement of outdoor exploration, The North Face introduced Explore Fund (www.explorefund.org) in 2010 and the program has since provided more than $2.2 million in grants to organizations committed to inspiring people to explore the outdoors and care for the environment.
About American Hiking Society
Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national, recreation-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience. To learn more about American Hiking Society and its mission and programs, visit www.AmericanHiking.org.
About The North Face®
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1966. Headquartered in Alameda, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.
American Hiking Society
800.972.8608 ext. 704
On behalf of The North Face