The Richard Haiman National Park Foundation of Winter Park, Florida, has granted a total of $21,000 to Friends of the Smokies to support education programs and trail and shelter projects.
The Haiman Foundation grant includes $11,000 to support “Parks as Classrooms,” a series of curriculum-based lessons that each year benefit thousands of elementary and middle school students from East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. In spring and fall, schools visit various areas of the park in order to take advantage of these learning opportunities. In winter, rangers go into the schools, in effect, bringing the park into the classrooms. This is the seventh straight year that the Haiman Foundation has supported the Parks as Classrooms program.
Another $10,000 will support the renovation of the Double Spring Gap Shelter. This project is the latest step in an ongoing effort to renovate all fifteen of the park’s trail shelters in order to provide hikers with safer, cleaner, and more comfortable accommodations. The newer shelters are also designed to minimize potential problems with black bears. This will be the tenth shelter rehabilitation project funded by the Haiman Foundation.
Richard Haiman was an avid hiker and long-time supporter of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He is responsible for more than $340,000 provided to Friends of the Smokies, including more than $70,000 during his lifetime and another $270,000 through the Richard Haiman National Park Foundation, which was established when he passed away. The foundation funds trail repairs, education programs, and other projects in selected national parks. In addition to its generous support to the Smokies, the foundation has provided more than $100,000 to five other national parks.
“We are very grateful for all that Richard Haiman has made possible in the Smokies,” said Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson. “We are also very thankful to the foundation’s board members for continuing Richard Haiman’s legacy of support for park resources, local schoolchildren, and other visitors.”... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.