The following is a joint press release from L.L. Bean and the National Parks Foundation:
Outdoor retailer L.L.Bean and the National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charity of America's national parks, announced on Monday tremendous progress in a year-long effort to increase outdoor recreation among families and introduce more children to America's national parks than ever before.
Nearly 350,000 stories, ideas and photos of outdoor experiences have been shared as part of the Million Moment Mission, an initiative to encourage outdoor activity as a way to support the National Park Foundation. For every outdoor moment shared this year, L.L.Bean will donate a dollar - up to $1 million - to NPF's "America's Best Idea" program.
The announcement was made following a gathering of stakeholders in a meeting with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for a discussion on President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative at L.L.Bean's Discovery Park in Freeport, ME.
To provide a further boost to the program, L.L.Bean announced that in addition to funds raised through online sharing and participation in outdoor events such as the 100th Anniversary Hometown Celebration in July, the company will also donate a dollar to the National Park Foundation for every L.L.Bean purchase made in stores or online from June 29 - July 8.
"As we kicked off our 100th Anniversary year, we set a goal to reignite America's love of the outdoors," said Chris McCormick, CEO of L.L.Bean. "We are thrilled to see the passion and enthusiasm for the outdoors that people have shared with us. Thanks to these engagements, we are nearly halfway toward our goal of contributing a million dollars to the National Park Foundation."
"L.L.Bean's commitment to engaging all Americans, and particularly our country's youth, with their national parks is inspiring," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "And Americans have responded with excitement to their Million Moment Mission, demonstrating the importance of protecting and preserving these special places today and for all future generations."
The funding from L.L.Bean's Million Moment Mission will help to connect diverse, underserved and under-engaged audiences in local communities to national parks, through programs such as the Boston Harbor Islands Program right here in Massachusetts.
Underserved youth from local communities in Massachusetts participate in ranger and chaperone-led day and overnight park visits where they will develop "how-to" materials based on their own park adventures ultimately creating the "How to Camp Like a Kid" series, which will be distributed to community youth groups inspiring more park visits.