Salem, MA (September 14, 2022) - The National Park Foundation announced on September 12, 2022 that Essex Heritage is one of 41 park partner organizations to receive a Strong Parks, Strong Communities grant from the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. This grant will enable Essex Heritage to work with experts to understand how traditionally overlooked communities in the Area can be better represented through digital and print materials, giving greater attention to the great diversity of stories that exist within the Essex National Heritage Area. The full list of grantees can be found on the National Park Foundation’s blog.
“We are grateful for this Capacity Building Grant from the National Park Foundation, which allows us the opportunity to take a closer and more critical look at how we are representing all communities in the Heritage Area,” explains Annie Harris, Essex Heritage CEO.
The Strong Parks, Strong Communities grants help address nonprofit park partner needs most urgent to the parks they serve. The grants will enable partner organizations to invest in strategic planning, community engagement, improving visitor experience in parks, increasing organizational relevancy and resiliency, and launching new fundraising campaigns.
“Philanthropy and partnership are essential to the success of America’s national parks,” said Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “New funding will help park partners across the country to build capacity, improve strategic planning and fundraising initiatives, and to more deeply engage the communities and national parks they serve. Ultimately, investing in the growing community of park partners is a commitment to expanding and transforming the role philanthropy plays to ensure national parks reach their full potential.”
“These strategic investments in local groups elevate the creative opportunities, organizational efficacy, and bandwidth of the professional network that Friends Alliance serves,” said Vickie Mates, Executive Director of the National Park Friends Alliance. “We look forward to our continued collaboration and celebrating the outcomes created by these incredible grantee projects.”
Strong Parks, Strong Communities is a collective effort to grow national park philanthropy across the country. Working together on this initiative, the National Park Foundation, National Park Service, and Friends Alliance enhance local philanthropic organizations, bringing park philanthropy to an elevated level.
The Strong Parks, Strong Communities capacity building grant program is made possible by the National Park Foundation Board of Directors.
ABOUT ESSEX HERITAGE AND THE ESSEX NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA:
Essex Heritage is the non-profit organization that manages the Essex National Heritage Area by developing programs that enhance, preserve and encourage recreation, education, conservation and interpretation projects on Boston’s North Shore and the Lower Merrimack River Valley. The Essex National Heritage Area is comprised of the 34 cities and towns of Essex County, MA. There are 55 National Heritage Areas across 34 states. Unlike National Parks, NHAs are often large, populated regions that span large geographic areas and do not affect or interfere with the private property rights of their inhabitants. For more information, visit www.EssexHeritage.org or call (978) 740-0444.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION:
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help protect more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts and connect all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.