Voyageurs National Park receives ticket to ride grant!

Voyageurs National Park has been selected to receive a 2013 "Ticket to Ride" grant from the National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charity of America's national parks. The Ticket to Ride program, supported by a $500,000 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, helps students explore the outdoors by providing transportation and program support to national parks around the country. "Providing the means for America's youth to experience all that our national park system has to offer is imperative," said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "Disney's support has helped make it possible for us to engage thousands of young people in life changing park experiences, and ultimately inspiring the next generation of park enthusiasts."

Now in its second year and with continued support from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and Disney Friends for Change, "Ticket to Ride" provides financial resources for transportation, in-park educational programming, and meals that make national park field trips possible for schools across the country.The grant from Disney will help more than 60,000 students to experience location-based learning in their local national parks this year.Disney is committed to connecting kids to nature, ensuring they appreciate and understand the beauty and value of our natural resources.

This grant will provide transportation of over 800 fourth graders to the park and access to the Voyageur floating classroom. Gateway community youth will have the unique opportunity to learn about loons, eagles or pond ecology, while experiencing the scenic beauty of the park from the upper deck of the Voyageur. Youth are given an opportunity to experience Voyageurs National Park from the water, as it is meant to be seen.For teachers interested in signing up their 4th grade class, call the Rainy Lake Visitor Center at 218-286-5258.

For many students, the Ticket to Ride field trip will be their first visit to a national park.Recognizing that once in the parks a world of experiential learning opens up, the National Park Foundation and the National Park Serviceare dedicated to providing this critical access to the parks. Through these field trips, young people discover their natural, cultural and historical heritage, participate in volunteer and service-learning activities, enjoy recreational opportunities and most importantly, begin a lifelong relationship with their national parks.