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Greenway Trail Celebration on June 1, National Trails Day

This signature public event on June l, 2002, "National Trails Day" at Grand Canyon National Park celebrated the completion of the first two phases (four miles) of the new Grand Canyon Greenway trail system. The Greenway is a key component of the park's new transportation plan to get visitors out of their cars and experience a new, non-motorized option of exploring the magnificence of the Canyon. When completed, the Greenway will comprise nearly 73 miles of scenic biking and hiking trails. It will also be the longest wheelchair accessible trail in the entire National Park System. Families and people of all ages, recreational interests, and abilities can now enjoy the spectacular beauty of Grand Canyon in wonderful new way!

The event, which took place at Yavapai Point Ampitheater on the South Rim, included a variety of speakers including:

  • Deputy Director of ADOT, Debra Brisk
  • Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent, Joe Alston
  • Grand Canyon National Park Foundation President, Deborah Tuck
  • Vice-Chairman of the NPS Advisory Committee, Bob Chandler
  • Leader of the Greenway Collaborative Design Team, Chuck Flink
  • Co-Founder of Indigenous Community Enterprises, Mae Franklin

California Condors at Reproduction Crossroad
Condor in Grand Canyon Biologists in Arizona and California are monitoring the reproductive behavior of five pairs of California condors. If any of the pairs are successful in incubating and hatching their single egg, it will be the first wild-hatched California condor since 1984. At Grand Canyon National Park, female 119 and male 122, and female 127 and male 123, have paired up and selected nest cave locations on two cliff faces. While both cave entrances can be monitored by biologists from a plateau in the canyon and can be seen by the park's five million summer visitors to the South Rim, the sheerness of the canyon walls make the nests inaccessible to climbers and verification of eggs uncertain.
The Arizona pairs are comprised of females hatched at San Diego Wild Animal Park and males hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo in spring 1995. All four birds were released to the wild in May 1997, at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, 50 miles north of their current location on the Grand Canyon's South Rim. The Peregrine Fund biologists have been monitoring the daily movement of the condors since their release and Park Service biologists have joined in monitoring the birds when they frequent the park. Park Service wildlife biologist Elaine Leslie confirms that since mid-February the paired males and females have been trading off incubation shifts at their nests, with off-time usually spent soaring in the nest area or returning to a supplemental feeding location at the Vermilion Cliffs.

California condors normally lay a single egg between late January and early April. The egg is incubated by both parents and hatches after approximately 56 days. Both parents share responsibility for feeding the nestling. At two or three months of age, the chick leaves the nest cavity but remains in the area where it is fed by its parents. The chick takes its first flight at six or seven months of age, but may not become fully independent of its parents until the following year.

"All we can do right now is faithfully watch and wait" said Chad Olson, National Park Service raptor biologist. "The parental behavior has us assuming that they're caring for eggs. As the condors continue to trade nest guarding and incubation shifts, we'll become anxious to see them succeed. Hopefully, sometime in early summer, we'll see a chick peek out of a cave opening."

"Visitors repeatedly express that seeing condors here at the canyon has enhanced their experience," said Joe Alston, Grand Canyon National Park superintendent. To accommodate the potentially nesting condors, Park Service officials have restricted access to a rarely used trail and have rerouted the South Rim administrative helicopter route.

"After leading the Arizona field program over the past five years, our expectations have been met with the prospect of two pairs of condors at the threshold of breeding in the wild," stated Bill Burnham, president of The Peregrine Fund. "This accomplishment is the result of our project partners' efforts and especially the 45 employees we asked to give a significant part of their lives so this species could have another chance. This is a great day for conservation and the team who made it happen," finished Burnham.

In the Sespe Condor Sanctuary, northwest of Los Angeles, California biologists from the Fish and Wildlife Service's Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge and San Diego Zoological Society are monitoring two nest caves, each known to contain an egg, and another cave where a condor pair is demonstrating nest visits that are consistent with birds trading incubation shifts.

Concerned that the male of one pair was initially not sharing incubation duties with the female, biologists monitoring the confirmed egg decided to maximize the egg's chance of survival by removing it from the nest and substituting an artificial egg. This process has been routinely successful with condors and with captive breeding programs for other birds such as bald eagles and peregrine falcons. The real egg was to be cared for at the Los Angeles Zoo until hatching was imminent and then biologists would return the egg to the nest.

However, when Zoological Society of San Diego Wildlife Scientist Mike Wallace was lowered into the Sespe pair's nest area, the male had finally begun incubating the egg and refused to budge from it. "He just refused to give it up," Wallace said. "In order to protect the egg, the best thing was to leave it. This is a good sign that the male parent is committed to caring for his offspring and gives us some confidence that they will incubate the egg on their own."

In 1987, the last wild condors were captured for safe keeping, and from a captive population of 27 remaining condors, a captive rearing program commenced. Some of that program's progeny were first released in 1992 and have been released annually to the wild since 1995. Last spring a pair of condors at the Grand Canyon produced the first wild-laid condor egg since 1986.

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Oracle Corporation Awards $10,000 to Protect Endangered Condors
The Grand Canyon National Park Foundation has received a grant of $10,000 from the Oracle Corporation in Redwood Shores, California to support the reintroduction of endangered California condors in the park. Specifically, the grant will allow the park to hire a biological technician to work with members of the Condor Reintroduction Team and implement efforts to monitor the birds within the Grand Canyon.

Based on patterns established in recent years, many of the released condors spend 85-90% of their time roosting and feeding in the Grand Canyon, despite their remote release location in the Vermilion Cliffs well north of the park. The Endangered Species Act gives the park the ultimate responsibility to protect the condors within its boundaries, but the park has just two full-time staff wildlife biologists to manage over one million acres and over 600 wildlife species in the Grand Canyon. These biologists are unable to provide the intense monitoring and management required to ensure the success of the condor reintroduction effort, let alone educate the visiting public on the importance of this effort.

The grant from Oracle makes a signficant impact in addressing the need for additional park service staff to monitor endangered condors in the Grand Canyon and provide interpretive services to park visitors about condor behavior and ecology. It is expected that the biological technician will be hired for the upcoming summer season, which is when the condors typically congregate in the South Rim area. The technician will assist with monitoring efforts as well as distribute educational materials to visitors about how to avoid/deter negative interactions with condors to ensure the birds' safety as well as their own.

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Hearst Foundation Contributes $100,000 to the Grand Canyon Wildlife Endowment Fund
The Grand Canyon National Park Foundation has received a $100,000 grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation for the newly established Grand Canyon Wildlife Endowments Fund. The Grand Canyon National Park Foundation's long-term goal is to raise $10 million in endowments to permanently protect wildlife in the park through research and education. The Hearst grant is a major step toward realizing this goal.

"The William Randolph Hearst Endowment for Wildlife Research and Education at Grand Canyon National Park is a tremendous gift to the park and everyone who loves it," said Deborah Tuck, president of the Grand Canyon National Park Foundation. "This is one of the world's most popular parks. New funding partners, like Hearst, are increasingly essential to the Grand Canyon's long-term vitality," she added.

The Grand Canyon National Park Foundation first established the Grand Canyon Wildlife Endowments Fund in 2001 with two anonymous gifts. Scientific research and educational activities supported by these endowments will provide lasting protection for animal and plant wildlife in Grand Canyon, including endangered species such as the California condor. The funds are housed at the Arizona Community Foundation in Phoenix.

For more information about the Grand Canyon Wildlife Endowment Fund, CLICK HERE.

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First Segment of Greenway Trail Now Open to the Public
The two-mile trail segment from Yavapai Point to Mather Point on the South Rim is now open to the public, offering visitors immediate trail access along the rim from Yavapai Observation Station to Canyon View Information Plaza, the park's new visitor center. Meanwhile, construction continues on the second half of this trail segment, which will link Mather Point eastward to the first overlook on Desert View Drive. Construction has also begun on the second phase of the Greenway, which runs from Canyon View Information Plaza to the Grand Canyon Village area. Both of these new trail segments are expected to be completed and open to the public by the end of November, as long as inclement weather does not cause a delay in the construction schedule.

Phase I, Greenway
Visiting children enjoy the newly opened Greenway on the South Rim

When completed, the Greenway will comprise 73 miles of trails on both the South and North Rims, offering visitors unprecedented opportunity to experience long stretches of spectacular vistas, which historically were limited to a half dozen or so crowded overlooks teaming with cars. Now, visitors will be able to enjoy a safe and alternative means of exploring the park by foot, bicycle, or wheelchair. The new trail system is a fundamental component of the park's new transportation system, which seeks to significantly reduce vehicular traffic in the park to improve air quality, alleviate traffic congestion, and offer visitors a non-motorized transit option that will greatly enhance their national park experience.

Key elements of the Grand Canyon Greenway include:

  • Improved and continuous bicyclist and pedestrian environment along both rims of the Canyon.
  • Accessibility to rim-side vistas for visitors who are handicapped or have limited mobility.
  • Enhanced interpretative opportunities including information kiosks, points of interest markers, and special signage.
  • Trail-side amenities such as benches, interpretative waysides, shaded rest areas, and drinking water stations placed at various intervals along the Greenway system to further enhance the visitor experience.
  • Greater opportunity for visitors of all ages, abilities, and interests to experience the Canyon in a more intimate and meaningful way.

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Pulliam Trust Awards $1 Million Grant to Fund Grand Canyon Greenway
The Grand Canyon National Park Foundation received a grant of $1 million dollars from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust on Thursday, March 15, 2001. A portion of the funds will be used to build a major section of the new trail system at the Grand Canyon National Park, called the Grand Canyon Greenway. The remaining funds will be set aside in a perpetual endowment for trail maintenance and restoration.

Deborah Tuck, President of the Grand Canyon National Park Foundation, stated that the gift, the largest ever made by the Pulliam Trust in the State of Arizona, was "a remarkable demonstration of the commitment by the private philanthropic sector to the enhancement of the park's assets." The Grand Canyon Greenway will consist of 73 miles of new rim-side, handicapped accessible trails on both the South and North Rims of the Canyon, offering visitors new ways to explore and experience the park. "When the trails are completed, families can come to the Grand Canyon and spend an entire day biking or hiking along the most spectacular trail in the continental United States," Ms. Tuck said.

The Grand Canyon National Park Foundation was among 23 Arizona nonprofit organizations receiving grant checks and commitments totaling $3,120,500 from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Harriet Ivey, President and CEO of the Trust, officiated at the awards ceremony. The Trust's three trustees, Frank E. Russell, Nancy M. Russell, and Carol Peden Schatt also participated.

Established in 1997, the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust seeks to help people in need, especially women, children, and families; to protect animals and nature; and to enrich community life in the metropolitan areas of Indianapolis and Phoenix.

"Today's grant recipients share a common thread of excellence in fulfilling their commitments to this community and state," said Ivey. "Grants range from $15,000 to $1 million and represent every area of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust's program interests. This is the Trust's first round of grants for the year 2001. Since the Pulliam Trust began its funding in 1998, it has committed $21,968,574 to 158 Arizona organizations," Ivey added.

The Grand Canyon Greenway is scheduled to begin construction early summer of 2001.

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Joe Alston Named as Grand Canyon's New Superintendent
On December 18, Joe Alston was named as the new superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park, according to Karen Wade, director of the Intermountain Region of the National Park Service. Alston, a 28-year veteran of the National Park Service, was the superintendent of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument for six years prior to his current appointment.

"Joe is an outstanding superintendent and brings tremendous knowledge and skill to his new position," Wade said. "He is deeply committed to the innovations taking place at Grand Canyon in transportation and the preservation of natural quiet, and has a strong reputation as someone who will reach out to local communities and others who care deeply about the Grand Canyon."

Alston began his career in the National Park Service as a firefighter on the north rim of the Grand Canyon as well as an inner canyon ranger. He has served as superintendent of Curecanti National Recreation Area, Assistant Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, and acting chief of the National Park Service Division of Concession Management in Washington, D.C. He has also been a wrangler, a river ranger and a wildlife technician.

"I am grateful to be returning to the Grand Canyon," Alston said. "The power of this place is very personal for me since it is where I met my wife, Judy, and it is what inspired me to seek a career in the National Park Service. I look forward to moving ahead with the park's general management plan and to developing strong working relationships with Grand Canyon's friends and neighbors."

Alston has a B.A. in economics from the University of California - San Diego, and an MBA from the University of Kansas. He is married to Judy Alston, and they have two sons, Thomas who is a senior at the University of Arizona in Tucson and David, a senior at Page High School.

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Grand Canyon's Canyon View Information Plaza Now Open
On October 26, 2000 the National Park Service opened Canyon View Information Plaza, a new state of the art transportation/orientation hub. A ribbon cutting ceremony was conducted at 10:00 a.m. at Canyon View Information Plaza just west of Mather Point on the South Rim.

The ceremony was open to the public and included Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, National Park Service Intermountain Director, Karen Wade, and other special guests.

The Grand Canyon Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating knowledge, discovery, and stewardship for the benefit of Grand Canyon National Park and its visitors, also opened a new bookstore located on the plaza, and the U.S. Postal Service joined in the celebration by offering a pictorial commemorating the opening of the plaza.

The opening of this facility represents the first major step in implementing the park's 1995 General Management Plan, a plan that focuses on public transportation and enhanced educational and recreational opportunities. Canyon View Information Plaza was designed to fulfill four functions: provide visitors with their first glimpse of the canyon - away from noise and vehicle congestion; introduce visitors to the park's major interpretive themes - enriching the visitors experience; offer visitors a menu of recreational options that include orientation to riding shuttle buses, biking, hiking, and ranger guided activities; and connect visitors to other points in the park with the completion of a mass transit system in early 2004, that will include alternative fuel buses and light rail. The Grand Canyon Greenway, a multi-use trail system will eventually extend from Canyon View Information Plaza to the future Grand Canyon Transit Center north of Tusayan, and to Desert View and Hermits Rest.

The facility is the result of many people and organizations sharing a vision and working together to reach this milestone. It is the first of its kind and scope in a national park - designed to accommodate up to 4,200 people per hour at peak times, the facility will eventually serve as a hub for four modes of transportation; bus, train, biking and hiking. It is also the first major project completed at Grand Canyon with funds from the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program, a pilot program approved by Congress in 1996 that allows the national parks and other federal agencies to keep up to 80% of most user fees collected.

The opening of Canyon View Information Plaza is one of the first steps in many to come. Because the facility will open prior to the completion of the mass transit system several changes in traffic patterns will occur to accommodate the visiting public and local community. The National Park Service has already begun to install temporary traffic devices and directional signing that will direct visitors to parking areas within the park. Visitors will be asked to park their vehicle, board a shuttle bus, and visit Canyon View Information Plaza to begin their connection to the Grand Canyon. Once the light rail system is completed, day use visitors will park their cars outside of the park at the Grand Canyon Transit Center and board a light rail train for the short trip to Canyon View Information Plaza.

Beginning with the opening of the Canyon View Information Plaza, the park's shuttle system becomes a year round service. The Village Route, connecting Canyon View to the South Rim Village, will operate from an hour before sunrise to 9:00, 10:00 or 11:00 p.m., depending on the season. The Hermits Rest Route to overlooks on the west rim will operate from an hour before sunrise to an hour after sunset from March through November. The Kaibab Trail Route will operate during the same hours throughout the year. Hermit Road (formally West Rim Drive) and the South Kaibab and Yaki Point Road will be open from December through February.

Although there will be many changes over the next several years, the National Park Service is eager to begin the transition to a new and better way to visit. "We are beginning a new era," stated Acting Park Superintendent, J.T. Reynolds, "we are responding to change in an innovative way that provides greater protection to park resources and a better experience for park visitors. We are transforming the visitor experience at Grand Canyon from one of congestion and limited opportunities to one of greater opportunity!"

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Park's New Transportation/Orientation Center Nearing Completion
In less than two months, the National Park Service will open Canyon View Information Plaza, a new transportation/orientation hub representing the first major commitment to the future of Grand Canyon National Park. The facility will serve as the in-park connection to other points in the park with the completion of a mass transit system in early 2004.

An opening ceremony is planned for Thursday, October 26th at Canyon View Information Plaza, located adjacent to Mather Point on the South Rim of Grand Canyon. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and other special guests will join the National Park Service to honor this significant moment in the history of Grand Canyon National Park.

"Through the opening of this magnificent facility we begin to see the future rather than just dream it," stated Robert Arnberger, Superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park. "We provide information services to visitors in a way we have not been able to for decades at this park. We finally retire the 1957 model visitor center and test drive a new model for a new century."

Nearly 5 million visitors come to Grand Canyon each year to marvel at its beauty and reconnect with the natural world. Information and orientation exhibits at Canyon View Information Plaza will assist visitors in planning their Grand Canyon experience. The facility will provide visitors with their first view of Grand Canyon (at Mather Point) free from traffic and buildings; enrich their experience by introducing them to the park's major interpretive themes; offer a menu of recreational options, including orientation to the shuttle bus system, biking, hiking and ranger-guided activities; and serve as a transportation hub, connecting visitors to other points in the park, by light rail, alternative fuel buses, a Greenway trail system, and the Rim Trail.

Canyon View Information Plaza is the cornerstone of the park's 1995 General Management Plan, a plan that defined a new way to visit the park focusing on public transportation and enhanced public educational and recreational opportunities. It is the first of its kind and scope in a national park and is considered an innovative solution to problems plaguing many of our national parks including Grand Canyon; that of road congestion, overcrowded parking lots, and a diminished experience for park visitors.

Although this change signals a new way to visit, until the mass transit system is completed in early 2004, visitors will still be able to bring their vehicles into the park. They will be encouraged to park their cars and travel by shuttle to Canyon View Information Plaza to begin planning their in-park experience. Once the mass transit system is in place, day-use visitors will leave their cars at a staging area just outside the park, and board a light rail train for the short ride to Canyon View Information Plaza.

The next step will follow this fall when the National Park Service releases the transit prospectus. A concessions contract is expected to be awarded by spring of 2001 and will require the concessioner to design, build, operate, and maintain light rail transit from Tusayan, just outside of the park boundary, to points within Grand Canyon Village; operate transit bus service on several routes between Hermits Rest and Desert View; and operate interpretive bus tours along the Grand Canyon's South Rim.

The first segment of a Greenway trail system, that will include a series of multi-use trails on both the North and South Rims of Grand Canyon National Park, will be ready for use next summer. This trail system is considered to be a primary link in the overall transportation plan.

These changes, coupled with the development of the Heritage Education Campus, a dynamic learning center that will educate visitors to the major natural and cultural themes of the park, are designed to reduce the impact of crowds and automobiles, give visitors a transit choice, and create opportunities to experience and learn more about the Grand Canyon.

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First Lady at the Canyon
Photo courtesy of Charles Flink.
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton Visits Grand Canyon National Park
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, with Superintendent Robert Arnberger, far right, during her recent visit to the Grand Canyon to launch the Grand Canyon Greenway as part of the Millennium Trails Initiative. Also pictured in the photo are Grand Canyon National Park Foundation board members and Grand Canyon Greenway project volunteers and consultants. More information on the Greenway is available at www.nps.gov/grca/greenway/.

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Millennium 2000 Annual Grants Program Awards
The Grand Canyon National Park Foundation will contribute up to $50,000 to the Annual Grants Program at Grand Canyon National Park in 2000. Cash for the Canyon donations and monies collected from in-park donation boxes will be combined with other funding sources to finance 25 small projects benefiting the park and its visitors.

"We could not have pursued this program without the active support of our friends and non-profit partners, especially the many park visitors who go the extra step by making a donation to the park," said Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Robert Arnberger.

The various funding sources include a memorial fund, the Grand Canyon National Park Foundation and the Grand Canyon Association, which operates in-park bookstores. Seventy project submissions were received from all departments, totaling over $610,000 in requests. This year's funded projects total $202,000.

Millennium 2000 Annual Grants recipients immediately following the awards ceremony held at the Shrine of the Ages on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Superintendent Robert Arnberger, second row, fifth from right, presented the awards, along with Deborah Tuck, Grand Canyon National Park Foundation, fourth from right, and Robert W. Koons, Grand Canyon Association, sixth from right.

Year 2000 projects funded by the foundation are:

1. $20,000 to fund a Harvard University Design Studio focusing on the Heritage Education Campus - develop a design master plan and create site designs for the Heritage Education Campus
2. $4,650 for a Geology Symposium - to determine the origin of the Grand Canyon and the modern Colorado River
3. $9,550 (partial funding) for a Mountain Lion/Human Interaction study - to assess Mountain Lion populations through aerial and ground surveys, to gather crucial baseline data
4. $3,200 to publish the Nonvascular Plant List
5. $5,000 to support park staff in collecting Oral Histories
6. $1,660 to purchase software to enhance web pages

In addition, the foundation will administer three projects funded through the Luis SanJurjo Memorial Fund:

1. $5,000 to digitize historic photos in Grand Canyon National Park's Museum Collection
2. $9,740 for dating of Archaic Pictographs
3. $10,000 (partial funding) for a Mountain Lion/Human Interaction study - to assess Mountain Lion populations through aerial and ground surveys, to gather crucial baseline data

From its inception in 1995, the foundation has supported establishing a program of this nature. While the foundation endeavors to raise the major funding needed for many of the park's General Management Plan projects, it is important that smaller and equally worthy projects and programs are not neglected. The cumulative effect of completing projects each year will be an overall improvement in the visitor experience and in the quality of the park's research and monitoring programs.

"This program provides us a vehicle to combine donation monies and spend them to the best advantage of the park, so that these worthy projects do not slip through the cracks," Superintendent Arnberger said.

Grant amounts through the Annual Grants Program generally range from $1,000 to $15,000. The program requires that grant projects be completed within one calendar year, although some projects may be approved for up to two calendar years in length. An advisory group, composed of NPS rangers from all departments, assesses the proposals to ensure they meet the grant program parameters, and provides recommendations to the park superintendent, who then makes the final decision.

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Grand Canyon National Park Foundation Appoints New President
Deborah E. Tuck, a foundation executive with more than 25 years of experience in the non profit field, has accepted the position of president of the Grand Canyon National Park Foundation.

During the past 15 years, Tuck served as executive director of two family foundations, the Ruth Mott Fund in Flint, Mich., and Washington, D.C., and the Needmor Fund in Boulder, Colo. The two foundations fund major programs in the areas of the environment, the arts and health. During her tenure at the Ruth Mott Fund, the fund was cited for outstanding service and philanthropic leadership.

Tuck will guide the foundation as it begins a major effort to assist the National Park Service in improving the way visitors experience Grand Canyon National Park. The foundation plans to raise private funding for a variety of projects outlined in the 1995 General Management Plan for the park (www.nps.gov/grca/gmp).

"Grand Canyon National Park presents a unique challenge," Tuck said. "It has been drawing five times more visitors each year than it was designed to accommodate, resulting in traffic jams, parking problems, long lines and delays.

"As a result, the quality of visits to the park has suffered. Working together with park management, the foundation will help to improve what people experience when they visit this national icon."

Tuck was named to the new position by the Grand Canyon National Park Foundation board of directors. Her background includes work for a variety of non profit organizations and service as a volunteer and board member for a number of groups and causes. She currently chairs the Education Fund of the League of Conservation Voters, was a founding trustee of Libraries for the Future, and served two terms as trustee of the Flint Institute of Arts.

Tuck earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities from Alma College in Alma, Mich., and a Masters in Regional Planning and Rural Development from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She will begin her new duties in June.

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Del E. Webb Foundation Takes the Lead with Major Contribution for Heritage Education Campus
The Grand Canyon National Park Foundation has received a $2.5 million grant from the Del E. Webb Foundation for the extensive renovation work to be accomplished at the historic 1935 Community Building, located within Grand Canyon National Park on the Heritage Education Campus, and for other design and compliance work needed to realize the vision of the Heritage Education Campus.

The grant will be given in installments of $500,000 annually over the next five years. The Del E. Webb Foundation provides leadership funding for significant educational, medical, and community-based programs in Arizona, California and Nevada. The Del E. Webb Foundation is a self-funded, non-profit corporation based in Arizona and is not affiliated in any manner with the for-profit, publicly-held Del Webb Corporation. Current board members are R. H. Johnson, Marjorie Klinefelter, Del Werderman, Larry Johnson, and Owen Childress.

On March 1, the National Park Service gave final compliance and approval to the Foundation for all phases of work. The cultural compliance is complete with the exception of the exterior accessibility ramp. The contractor completed the restroom upgrade on March 30, installing state-of-the-art water saving fixtures and creating increased capacity. An accessible restroom has been added to the facility. The contractor is completing the upgrades to the HVAC and fire protection systems. The upstairs office furniture has been installed, with space for eight employees. AMFAC Parks and Resorts, the primary park concessionaire, will hold employee training sessions in the building, and has provided $1500 towards the purchase of meeting room furniture.

The interior has been painted, lighting upgraded, new carpeting installed, windows returned to working condition with screens added, and interior and exterior doors have been refinished. The electrical system has been inspected, repaired and upgraded to accommodate cable for voice and data transmission. In addition, modifications made to the building in recent years have been removed, including the door on the main stairway and the wall dividing the first floor theater.

Ellis Richard, chief of the park's interpretive division, said, "The National Park Service intends this building to serve as an organizational, administrative and teaching site. The park's environmental education and education outreach programs will be housed here, as will the offices of the Grand Canyon Field Institute. Both organizations will be able to collaborate and develop mutually supportive and synergistic programs."

The building will not be used for general visitor programs, but will provide formal program meeting space, training facilities, meeting rooms for seminars and colloquiums, and support office space to coordinate many of the programs developed through the Heritage Education Campus.

The Grand Canyon National Park Foundation and the Grand Canyon Association began the first phase of renovation on the Old Community Building with an expenditure of $75,000 to provide offices for the first occupant of the building, the Grand Canyon Field Institute (GCFI). GCFI, a non-profit organization cosponsored by Grand Canyon National Park and the Grand Canyon Association, is dedicated to enhancing the understanding and enjoyment of the Grand Canyon through first-hand experience. The Grand Canyon Association is a not-for-profit organization operating bookstores in the park.

Exterior Renovations The removal of the roof will begin after April 26. The rafter tails will be replaced and the building will be re-roofed to its original design and configuration. Other exterior work will include painting the building and restoring the terrace on the north side by installing a replica of the historic railing and replacing decking where needed. The completion date for this phase is June 1 but is dependent on weather and other factors. Normal classroom use of the building will resume by mid-April.

Heritage Education Campus The Heritage Education Campus is a multi-year historic preservation project that involves the "adaptive reuse" of several historic buildings from administrative uses to visitor uses. The Grand Canyon National Park Foundation is concentrating on five of these buildings: the 1926 Power House (a National Historic Landmark), the 1935 Community Building, the 1906 livery stable, the 1906 mule barn, and the 1926 laundry building, all located within the Grand Canyon National Historic Landmark District.

The Grand Canyon National Park Foundation commissioned architectural renderings of the proposed Heritage Education Campus, depicting a large area extending to the rim and lined with pathways connecting the campus area to the canyon rim and other hiking and biking trails. The area will be landscaped with native trees, shrubs and grasses and will have picnic tables and benches. The National Park Service will determine the specific uses for each building.

Superintendent Robert L. Arnberger said, "The transformation (of this area), over the next 10 years, from utility and benign neglect to vitality and rebirth will be something of which we can all be proud and will signal a new era at Grand Canyon National Park. Beginning today and together, we will be working toward the creation of a place where millions of visitors from all parts of this country and all continents of the world will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the remarkable stories of the Grand Canyon."

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Grand Canyon Launches In-Park Grants Program
The Grand Canyon National Park Foundation will contribute up to $50,000 to the inaugural Annual Grants Program at Grand Canyon National Park in 1999. Cash for the Canyon donations and monies collected from in-park donation boxes will be combined with other funding sources, for a total of approximately $270,000 available this year, to finance 30 small projects benefiting the park and its visitors.

The various funding sources include a memorial fund, park visitor donations, the Grand Canyon National Park Foundation and the Grand Canyon Association, which operates in-park bookstores. Sixty-six project submissions were received from all departments, totaling over $750,000 in requests.

The projects funded by the foundation are:

1. Corridor District Picnic Tables - Bright Angel Campground and Phantom Ranch area sites - $10,000
2. Peregrine Falcon Monitoring - Lower Colorado River - $14,400
3. North Rim Picnic Tables - $6,300
4. Publish Grand Canyon Rare Plants Field Guide - $8,500
5. Rock Art Recording on the Bright Angel Trail - $1,020
6. Participation in Archeology Month Exposition - $1,156

In addition, the foundation will administer two projects funded through the Luis SanJurjo Memorial Fund:

1. Biological Inventory - Threatened and Endangered Species - River and Rims - $12,050
2. Scientific Dating of Split-Twig Figurines - $7,044

"This new program provides us a vehicle to combine donation monies and spend them to the best advantage of the park," Superintendent Robert Arnberger said. "Without this program, many of these worthy projects could slip through the cracks.

"We could not have pursued this program," he continued, "without the active support of our friends and non-profit partners, including the many park visitors who go the extra step by making a donation to the park."

Superintendent Robert Arnberger (right), Grand Canyon National Park Foundation President Robert Koons (back row, second from right) and Grand Canyon National Park Foundation board member Marshal Bryant (back row, third from right) are shown here with the inaugural Annual Grants Program award recipients, all Grand Canyon National Park employees.

$278,000 in grant funding was awarded during a one hour ceremony on March 23, 1999. The next Annual Grants Awards cycle begins in August 1999. Pamela Frazier (back row, left) represented the Grand Canyon Association.

Grant amounts through the Annual Grants Program generally range from $1,000 to $15,000, with occasional projects requiring larger or smaller amounts. The program requires that grant projects be completed within one calendar year, although some projects may be approved for up to two calendar years in length. An advisory group composed of NPS rangers from all departments assesses the proposals, to ensure they meet the grant program parameters, and provides recommendations to the park superintendent.

"From its inception in 1995, the foundation has supported establishing a program of this nature," said Robert Koons, the foundation's board president. "While we endeavor to raise the major funding needed for many of the park's General Management Plan projects, it is important that smaller and equally worthy projects and programs are not neglected. The cumulative effect of completing projects each year will be an overall improvement in the visitor experience and the quality of the park's research and monitoring programs."

Rustic Park Benches - 40 wood benches have been built and placed in various locations on the North and South Rims. Funding for this project was provided through the generous donations of park visitors during the Cash for the Canyon fund raising activity, August 25, 1996.

People on Benches Click images to see
a larger version.
Bench


Park Exhibits - New exhibits will soon be in place at the North Rim Visitor Center. A portion of the funding was provided by 1997 Cash for the Canyon donations collected at the North Rim Entrance Gate.

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