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August 20, 2013

Facebook Votes Land The Yellowstone Park Foundation And Park Journeys, Inc. A $25,000 Grant

Innovative Social Media-Powered Voting Competition Determined Grantee Winners

Bozeman, MT, August 20, 2013 —The Yellowstone Park Foundation (YPF) and Park Journeys, Inc. (PJI), named a Top 10 North Face Explore Fund $10,000 grantee in June, were tapped to receive an additional $15,000 from the Fund today, by inspiring its supporters to vote on The North Face’s Facebook page.

Throughout July, The North Face encouraged the public to have the final say on which nonprofit organizations would have their grant increased by asking them to vote for their favorite on Facebook. The top five nonprofits out of the ten June grantees that received the most votes were awarded a total of $25,000. The remaining five nonprofits received their initial grants of $10,000.

The top five organizations to receive the most votes are:

  • The Yellowstone Park Foundation’s Park Journey’s program Montana fostering strength and resilience in underserved teens by giving them a five-day learning opportunity in Yellowstone.
  • Peak 7 Adventures Washington transforms the lives of youth through challenging outdoor adventures.
  • First Descents Colorado adventure therapy programs offered to young adults diagnosed with cancer.
  • North Cascades Institute Washington provides challenging backcountry expeditions for youth.
  • Voyageur Outbound School Minnesota helps urban youth connect with their inner strength and leadership qualities through outdoor experiences.

“YPF was awarded this grant solely through the power of community activism because our supporters voted for Park Journeys on Facebook,” said Karen Bates Kress, Yellowstone Park Foundation President. “Park Journeys will now be able to bring more young people to Yellowstone to experience its life-changing magic.”

Park Journeys seeks to educate, energize and empower urban and rural youth through immersion in Yellowstone National Park. Park Journeys enriches the learning experience for the delegates beyond the five days in the Park by engaging the delegates in pre- and post-trip activities focused on health and wellness, travel, exploration, nature, team building and civic engagement and advocacy.

“National parks are terrific venues for experiential learning and fuel natural curiosity and the desire to explore,” said Park Journeys, Inc. founder, Michael Solot.

The unique and innovative collaboration among the Yellowstone Park Foundation, the Yellowstone Association, Yellowstone National Park and Park Journeys, Inc. ensures that students across America have the opportunity not just to visit Yellowstone but to be part of an unfolding, natural ecosystem that encourages them to be fully engaged in the future of our national parks and of their communities.

“There are three distinct pillars of the Park Journey’s curriculum: Wellness, Art/Technology and Civic Engagement, all of which were highlighted throughout out the Explore Fund’s campaign on Facebook and Twitter,” said Park Journeys, Inc. CEO Michelle Parolini.

The North Face Explore Fund’s mission is to support the next generation of explorers by funding nonprofit organizations that are working to connect children with nature. By encouraging youth to lead an active, healthy lifestyle, and protect our natural landscapes, a stronger connection to the outdoors can be nurtured.

All of the Explore Fund recipients were chosen based on their commitment to one of three different focus areas: access to front and back country recreation, education for personal and environmental health, and creating a connection to nature that will empower the future leaders of tomorrow.

Since the Explore Fund was initiated in 2010, The North Face has provided more than $1 million in global grants to nonprofits that connect youth to the outdoors, with more than $75,000 of that amount going to programs in the United States. For more information on this cycle’s grantees, please visit www.explorefund.org.

To read more about the launch of the Park Journeys program in August 2012, please visit: www.ypf.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6385

About the Yellowstone Park Foundation:
The Yellowstone Park Foundation has more than 18,000 individuals, corporations and foundations that donate to YPF each year, and has served as Yellowstone National Park’s official fundraising partner since 1996. Its mission is to fund projects and programs that protect, preserve, and enhance the visitor experience, and the natural and cultural resources in Yellowstone. YPF has raised more than $70 million, and funded more than 250 important projects and initiatives since its inception including cutthroat trout restoration, wildlife research, trail restoration, and youth education. For more information, please go to www.ypf.org.

About Yellowstone National Park:
Yellowstone National Park (www.nps.gov/yell) is home to the majority of the world’s geysers, the main reason it was established as the world’s first national park in1872. This wild, mountainous, 2.2 million-acre expanse is home to grizzly bears, wolves, bison, elk, numerous rivers, lakes and waterfalls, and the magnificent Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

About Park Journeys Inc.:
Park Journeys, Inc.’s (www.parkjourneys.com and www.parkjourneysblog.com) mission is to Educate, Energize and Empower America’s youth by partnering with and connecting national parks, urban and rural school districts, and youth programs such as the National Centers of Arts & Technology Centers in order to provide exceptional opportunities for youth. Structured around the pillars of Wellness, Art/Technology and Civic Engagement, PJI develops innovative learning experiences designed to provide students with the strength and resiliency to overcome societal barriers through PJI’s program configuration, the sharing of best practices and leadership before, during, and after the trip.

About The North Face:
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. 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.

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