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Grand Teton National Park Foundation Lands $25,000 Grant From Coca-Cola For Youth Conservation Program


Teens will be put to work improving trails in Grand Teton National Park thanks, in part, to a $25,000 grant the Coca-Cola Company has presented to the Grand Teton National Park Foundation.

The grant is targeted for the Foundation's Youth Conservation Program, a privately funded summer work-and-learn opportunity for 16- to 19-year-olds.

The program began in June with 22 participants who are accomplishing hands-on work in the park in exchange for a unique education and outdoor adventure. The Coca-Cola Company offers competitive grants that focus on active, healthy living and programs that connect youth to the outdoors. Funding will be used to advance this ongoing program that is currently in its seventh season.

“This is the second year Coca-Cola has partnered with the Foundation to bring students into nature to enjoy unique experiences,” Foundation President Leslie Mattson said. “There’s a national movement to encourage young people to be active outdoors, and Coca-Cola has a long history of funding community outdoor programs and projects in national parks. This partnership not only provides the resources we need to keep our youth trail crew working in the park, but our story reaches a wider audience and that’s how great ideas grow.”

Nearly 120 students have participated in Youth Conservation Program since it started in 2006. What began as a small community experiment with 13 teens has grown into a popular outdoor institution that attracts applicants from across the country. The teen crew fills a unique niche in the park as it tackles trail-related projects and other needs, and mentors teach job skills, introduce National Park Service jobs, and help participants develop a conservation ethic.

“Coca-Cola has a longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability and encouraging active, healthy lifestyles,” said Quinton Martin, vice president of community marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “Students that participate in the Grand Teton National Park Foundation’s Youth Conservation Program spend their summers learning about the importance of conservation and building life-long habits through outdoor activities and adventures.”

Not only does the program creatively solve challenges in Grand Teton, it is part of a long-term strategy to introduce a younger audience to the park and outdoor recreation. Youth Conservation Program is privately funded by Foundation donors and has contributed more than 48,000 hours to Grand Teton National Park to accomplish projects that would not be completed otherwise.

This grant, and the accomplishments it achieves, is just the latest example of the good work the Grand Teton National Park Foundation does in behalf of the park.


The Coca Cola Company historically has donated funds for national park projects but the actual cost of those donated funds became apparent as reported by the New York Times when after years of preparation Grand Canyon National Park was set to ban the sale of wasteful bottled water when the Coca Cola Company (largest producer of bottled water) stopped the ban by calling Neil Mulhollard of the National Park Foundation and Mr. Mulhollard in turn called National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and together with Regional Park Service Director John Wessels the ban was indefinitely delayed.

Does the Coca Cola Company's donation to Grand Teton National Park equate to control over beverages sold in Grand Teton National Park...someone might want to ask.

Tim, for what it's worth, the park and concessionaires are working to reduce waste by selling reusable water bottles in the park.

Kurt, there are literally thousands of great individuals supporting our national parks with hard earned dollars and elbow grease but the corruption so evident in our nation's capital has found it's way into the administration of our national parks.

Dear Mr. Mayo--I hope you now know that plastic water bottles are not sold anymore in GRCA. The NPS set up some criteria that had to be met before the plastic water bottle ban could be implemented in any park. GRCA met those criteria and the ban is in effect.

I do not deny that there is corruption in DC and from time to time, it wanders into the halls of the NPS. The fact of the matter is that I wouldn't even call it "corruption". I would call it a failure to live up to the three principles that Director Jarvis said would undergird all decisions in the NPS: 1.) accurate fidelity to the law and policy; 2.) the best available sound science and scholarship; and 3.) in the long-term public interest. Failure to live up to standards is not the same as corruption. I don't think anyone is stealing, selling political favors or embezzaling money. But there are decisions that seem to stray from Director Jarvis' three principles.


Mr. Smith, I appreciate your loyality to National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis but please know that the three stated principals are simply empty rhetoric as best exampled by Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott who has overseen the construction of ten’s of thousand’s of new residential, new administrative and new industrial square footage, installation of more new asphalt in Grand Teton National Park than all prior superintendents combined, and has proven that developing and building in the Snake River Flood Plain and/or riparian areas can easily be ignored while looking into the cameras of Wyoming Chronicles stating that she is reducing green house gas emissions in Grand Teton National Park by twenty percent (20%) and green house gas emissions at the Moose Campus by fifty percent (50%). Yes there is wide spread corruption of principal!

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