On April 24th, it was announced that Jefferson National Expansion Memorial will receive National Park Service Centennial funding to match private donations to sponsor ParkPalooza, a two-day interactive outdoor event on the grounds of the Gateway Arch. Planned for September 27th and 28th, ParkPalooza will provide children and their families the chance to explore recreational opportunities available in parks across the country. National Park Service Director Mary A. Bomar said, “With the nearly $25 million Congress has appropriated and nearly $27 million of matching commitments from our park partners, the Centennial Initiative today moves onto the landscape and into people’s lives. It’s a great day for the National Park Service and a great day for Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.”
“As the Arch is the Gateway to the West, ParkPalooza will be a gateway to national park experiences,” said Frank Mares, Acting Superintendent of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Following the “No Child Left Inside” initiative, activities are being planned that will tap into outdoor recreational opportunities, archeology, art, and preservation; all encouraging people to become stewards of public lands.
Jefferson National Parks Association, which supports educational programming at the Gateway Arch and Historic Old Courthouse, will contribute the matching funds for the project. Executive Director David Grove is thrilled to be participating. “I learned the value of national parks as a young person and instill this in my own children. With ParkPalooza, we will be able to provide rich educational experiences for area families who may not realize the great opportunities that await them in their national parks.”