Monument association wins grant from National Park Foundation |

Monument association wins grant from National Park Foundation

Sharon Sullivan
Courtesy Photo
Staff Photo |

Drinking water refilling stations inside Colorado National Monument, transportation of local school children for educational opportunities in the park, and spring and fall “walks and talks” led by rangers and other professionals from the community are just a few of the things that the Colorado National Monument Association pays for as a “Friends Group” of the park.

The Colorado National Monument Association announced last week it was one of eight Friends Groups from across the nation to be awarded the 2013 Park Partners Project grant of the National Park Foundation.

The Parks Partners Project’s goal is to help cultivate and strengthen a broad base of support for America’s national parks, National Park Foundation president Neil Mulholland said.

“We look forward to working together with the 2013 grantees as we continue to grow philanthropic support for our national treasures,” Mulholland said in a news release.

“We’re in a growth mode,” CNMA Executive Director Linda Spinner said. “In the future there will be more fundraising for projects in the monument.”

The Park Partners Project provides selected Friends Groups with consulting and training on best practices for fundraising and marketing efforts and building strong partnerships with the national parks.

Already, the CNMA is an important supporter of the monument — in the past five years the organization has provided between $40,000-$80,000 per year ($17,000 last year in membership fees alone) that paid for things like the water stations, the school buses, and the printing of visitor guides.

“We also paid for wi-fi service (in the park) which is great for our international users,” Spinner said.

In the future, visitors will be able to download apps on their iPads for educational programs at the various overlooks, she added.

Plus, the Friends group provides staff to run the visitor center bookstore and answer questions.

The Colorado National Monument Association has 370 members — benefits include a monthly newsletter and advanced notice of monument “walks and talks.”

The National Park Foundation raises private funds that directly aid, support and enrich all of the nation’s 401 national parks.

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