American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have announced the winners of the Partners in Preservation: National Parks campaign. The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is one of nine grant recipients.
The winning parks’ local nonprofit partners will receive a total of $1.8 million in grants to help fund their respective preservation projects. The nonprofit partners for all 20 national parks which participated in the program received a $10,000 grant at the outset of the campaign to help raise awareness about their preservation needs, adding up to $2 million in grants.
The Grand Canyon National Park’s south rim is home to the striking Desert View Watchtower with expansive views of one of the country’s most iconic vistas. The Watchtower, an exposition of the prehistoric Indian towers found throughout the Southwest, features internationally significant American Indian murals.
The $250,000 grant will conserve the tower’s historic murals so they can continue to tell the lesser-known story of the canyon’s tribes to future generations.
A decade after its inception, Partners in Preservation, a community-based initiative created to raise awareness of the importance of preserving historic places, honored the National Park Service Centennial by directing its efforts to historic sites within national park units in need of preservation support. Twenty different park sites with unique histories, reflective of the diverse communities and experiences that comprise our nation’s cultural fabric, participated in the campaign.
The nine winning sites accumulated the most votes throughout the campaign, which was hosted by media partner National Geographic, from May 25 through July 5.
“We are thrilled with the response and support for Partners in Preservation: National Parks and are proud to award $2 million in grants to extraordinary sites that tell the story of our national park system and reflect the rich cultural resources within it,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. “The campaign received more than 1 million votes. We thank everyone who voted and applaud all participants of the campaign, as each helped further the public dialogue about the National Park Service’s preservation needs.”
“Partners in Preservation: National Parks has shone new light on the importance of rehabilitating historic resources in national parks and provided much needed funding to make them more accessible to visitors for years to come,” said Stephanie K. Meeks, President and CEO, National Trust for Historic Preservation. “And through their participation in the campaign, more than 190,000 Americans have reaffirmed that these places matter – to our history, our nation, and our communities.”