STIHL Inc. has announced the winners of its 2023 Hearts of STIHL program, an initiative to care for the environment through the preservation of America’s state parks. The 2023 winners, representing the nation’s six state park regions, were each awarded a $20,000 grant to help fund sustainability, recovery, conservation, or environmental education programs.
The grants are managed by the America’s State Parks Foundation, ensuring that all funding will support environmental efforts and educational programming.
“While the Hearts of STIHL Program directly impacts the scenic appearance and sustainability of America’s State Parks through its commitment to environmental stewardship, conservation, and community engagement, its greater benefit lies in the conservation of our natural treasures for generations to come,” said Lewis Ledford, executive director at the National Association of State Park Directors. “The Hearts of STIHL Program aids the efforts to ensure that these precious landscapes continue to be a source of inspiration, education, and outdoor recreation for all.”
More than 32 parks applied for the 2023 grant. Here are the recipients by region and key areas of activity for their projects:
• Northeast – Delaware Seashore State Park, DE. Shoreline and management program for nature preserve and historic cultural site.
“Thompson Island Nature Preserve is one of the most culturally and naturally significant places in the state of Delaware,” said Raymond Bivens, director at Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation. “As the lowest-lying state in the country, climate change is forcing us to manage and steward our parklands in new ways. It means so much that STIHL is partnering with us to stabilize the shoreline using Wave Attenuation Devices (WADS).”
• Southeast – Tishomingo State Park, MS. Renovation and enhancement of nature education center; trail maintenance and forestry management.
• Central – Prairie State Park, MO. Invasive tree species removal and native tree planting program.
• North Central – Twin Falls Resort State Park, WV. Expansion of conservation education program; establishment of wildlife habitat fishing pond.
• Northwest – McCroskey State Park, ID. Planting of 20,000 trees on 60 acres of forest; re-seeding of six acres of native Palouse prairie habitat.
“The Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation is thrilled to be a recipient of the Hearts of STIHL grant,” said Director Susan Buxton, Department of Parks & Recreation. “Natural resource stewardship projects are a top priority of our agency, and this is exactly the on-the-ground support we need to foster our mission of improving the quality of life in Idaho through outdoor recreation and resource stewardship. We will use the money to help facilitate the restoration of a completely fire-adapted project area at McCroskey State Park, which includes planting more than 20,000 trees and re-seeding native Palouse prairie land. We look forward to a continued partnership with STIHL and thank them greatly for their contributions to resource management!”
• Southwest – Ridgway State Park, CO. Park modifications and improvements to become International Darks Sky Place (IDSP) certified; purchase of telescope public IDSP programs.
“The Hearts of STIHL program is an extension of our commitment to socially responsible environmental stewardship,” said Roger Phelps, STIHL Inc. corporate communications manager. “We’re honored to support America’s State Parks and work with the men and women of this year’s park awardees, as they care for these American treasures.”
Started in 2021 and inspired by the staff of America’s State Parks, Hearts of STIHL seeks to support programs which prioritize responsible forest management practices, sustainability, recovery, conservation, and environmental education programs. The mission of Hearts of STIHL is to help those people and programs that are caring for the national treasures that are our America’s State Parks and preserve them for the enjoyment of all Americans, current and future. Visit stihlusa.com/community/hearts-of-stihl/ to learn more.
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