WASHINGTON (May 19, 2015) – The Essex National Heritage Area (Essex Heritage) is one of 37 national parks and affiliated park areas selected to receive a 2015 Active Trails grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. Now in its seventh 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. With the 2015 Active Trails grant, Essex Heritage will once again team up with the YMCA of the North Shore to offer “Move It!” – a program launched just last summer to inspire 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.

“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. “Move It! provides an excellent platform to raise awareness of the natural resources, trails, and rail trails throughout the Essex National Heritage Area while having fun on your own or at special events – like Essex Heritage’s new “Rail Trail Series”, the YMCA of the North Shore Road Races, Essex Heritage’s Trail & Sails events, and dozens of other activities for all ages offered throughout Essex County.”

Since 2008, the National Park Foundation has granted more than $2.8 million through its Active Trails program. As of 2014, Active Trails has engaged more than 11,000 volunteers and 579 project partners who combined have contributed more than 60,000 hours to help promote, refurbish or build national park trails.

“Through our Active Trails program, people are discovering that parks are great places to have fun, give back, and exercise,” said Susan Newton, senior vice president of grants & programs at the National Park Foundation. “As we move into the second century of the National Park Service and look to connect all people to America’s treasured places through our Find Your Park movement, programs like Active Trails are engaging people across the country and helping them find their own unique connections to parks.”

“Trails are literal pathways to better health,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “These National Park Foundation grants will help protect, restore, and create trails in national parks, both urban and rural, that are essential to our physical and mental health as places of recreation, inspiration, and reflection.”

The entire list of the 2015 Active Trails recipients can be found here.

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


More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

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 www.nationalparks.org