The Essex National Heritage Area is one of 37 national parks and affiliated park areas selected to receive a 2014 Active Trails grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. Now in its sixth year, the Active Trails program supports healthy living by getting people out and active in national parks through projects that help restore, protect, and/or create land and water trails across the country. These projects include hands-on learning, hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, volunteering, and more.

“Through the Active Trails program, people across the country are connecting with their national parks, discovering more ways to lead active and healthy lives, and giving back to the places they love,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “These grants are critical to helping with ongoing efforts to maintain and enhance the 17,000 miles of land and water trails across the National Park System.”

With the 2014 Active Trails grant, Essex Heritage will team up with the YMCA of the North Shore to launch Move It! 100 Miles in 100 Days Challenge – a new program inspiring individuals and families of all ages to get active in the great outdoors of the 500 sq. mi Essex National Heritage Area or inside at the Y’s state-of-the-art facilities. The Move It! 100 Miles in 100 Days Challenge will run July through October 2014 and offer a diverse array of opportunities for participants to earn fun prizes by tracking their walking, running, biking or swimming miles via a specially designed Move It! website.

“Essex Heritage is excited to work with The YMCA of the North Shore to promote healthy living by getting people out and active,” said Annie C. Harris, Essex Heritage CEO. “The program provides an excellent platform to raise awareness of the natural resources throughout the Essex National Heritage Area while having fun on your own or at special events – like YMCA of the North Shore Road Races, Essex Heritage’s Trail & Sails events, and dozens of other activities for all ages offered throughout the area.”

Since 2008, the National Park Foundation has granted nearly $2.4 million through its Active Trails program.  To date, Active Trails has engaged more than 5,900 volunteers and 327 project partners who combined have contributed more than 30,000 hours to help promote, refurbish or build national park trails that were ultimately enjoyed by 331,000 visitors.

“The National Park Foundation’s Active Trails program provides vital funding that supports our national parks as centers of healthy outdoor activity for families and communities across the nation,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The land and water trails maintained by the National Park Service invite visitors to explore natural and cultural beauty, and these grants will expand these great opportunities to even more visitors.”

The National Park Foundation wishes to thank The Coca-Cola Company, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Disney, the Scrooby Foundation, and Subaru for their generous support of the Active Trails program.

The 2014 Active Trails grantees include:

Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area
Assateague Island National Seashore
Baltimore National Heritage Area
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
Booker T. Washington National Monument
Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
Buffalo National River
Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area
Cane River Creole National Historical Park
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
Essex National Heritage Area
Flagstaff Area National Monuments
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Fort Stanwix National Monument
Gateway National Recreation Area
Grand Teton National Park
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site
Kings Mountain National Military Park
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office
Nez Perce National Historical Park
Olympic National Park
Oregon National Historic Trail and California National Historic Trail
Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park
River Raisin National Battlefield Park
Rock Creek Park
Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway
Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
Timpanogos Cave National Monument
Wheeling National Heritage Area

A listing of these parks and their Active Trails project descriptions can be found on the National Park Foundation website.

For more information on the National Park Foundation and how you can support and protect America’s national parks, please visit For more information on the National Park Service, please visit


More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at:


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, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards.  Find out more and become a part of the national park community at