Buffalo National River recently received a $13,000 donation from the community organization Buffalo National River Partners (BNRP). These funds will help fund the Youth Explorers for Health Initiative which is designed to introduce area youth to the Buffalo River. This will be accomplished through ranger-guided hikes, canoe trips, and educational programs.
In early 2019, BNRP began a fundraising campaign designed to raise $13,000, the amount necessary to qualify for a matching grant through the National Park Service (NPS). Some of the fundraising activities included the annual Steel Creek concert in June, a Pint Night event at Pack Rat Outdoor Center in Fayetteville, and one of BNRP’s Mix and Mingle events in September. Major contributors to BNRP’s efforts included Magness Toyota, Pack Rat Outdoor Center, Equity Bank, Mosco Cash, First National Bank of North Arkansas and numerous other individual contributors. Having reached their fundraising goal, the $13,000 raised by BNRP was matched by the National Park Service, bringing $26,000 to Buffalo National River for the Youth Explorers for Health Initiative.
BNRP is an all-volunteer non-profit organization headquartered in Harrison whose primary purpose is to work directly with the NPS to help preserve and promote the Buffalo National River. Some of BNRP’s ongoing activities include quarterly river and trail cleanups, eradication of invasive plant species, education at local libraries, and organizing volunteers to support NPS programs.
Ginger Milan, BNRP president, said “We’re extremely grateful for the generous support of our BNRP members and others in the community in helping us raise the funds necessary to qualify for the National Park Service grant. BNRP continues to enjoy a fantastic collaborative partnership with Buffalo National River and we look forward to working with them to have the Youth Explorer program reach as many area youths as possible. I encourage everyone to visit BNRP’s website at bnrpartners.org to see how they can get involved.”
Mark Foust, superintendent of the Buffalo National River, added “We have a strong working relationship with BNRP – they are an outstanding volunteer organization that supports the National Park Service in many ways. In 2019, BNRP decided to raise the $13,000 required to qualify for the matching grant and their effort was amazing. We’re currently planning numerous Youth Explorer activities for 2020 that will only be possible because of the generous support of BNRP and its donors.”