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Tourism Cares Announces Grant Recipients

April 5, 2006

Tourism Cares Announces Grant Recipients
April 5, 2006 – Tourism Cares for Tomorrow has announced the award recipients for grants to worthy nonprofit organizations worldwide. Tourism Cares considers projects or programs that protect, restore, or conserve sites of exceptional cultural, historic, or natural significance or programs that educate local host communities and the traveling public about conservation and preservation of sites.


The grantmaking goals are set annually by the Board of Directors and are subject to change. Preference is given to applicants that allow the grant funding to be leveraged to provide increased philanthropic support, through vehicles such as matching grants or challenge grants; to those that are endorsed by the local, regional, or national tourism office; and to those that demonstrate strong support from the local community.


The Spring 2006 recipients are as follows:


A Rocha: Arabuko-Sokoke Schools and Eco-tourism Scheme (ASSETS)
Sustainable Development Program for the Local Community,
Kenya, Africa


The 21st Century is witnessing the convergence of preservation and conservation through the principals of sustainable and ecological tourism. A Rocha is an organization dedicated to preserving biological diversity through practical conservation projects. A Rocha is located within the Eastern African coastal forest at Arabuko-Sokoke and the associated tidal inlet of Mida Creek. It will provide academic scholarships and training to local guides in the principles of sustainable eco-tourism. The local population will assist in the protection of its lands and have economic incentives to continue the protection of this most treasured natural habitat.


Central Balkan-Kalofer Ecotourism Association,
Kalofer, Bulgaria


The Kalofer History House is a most important structure for the local population and tourists to Bulgaria. The structure is a true living museum offering interactive displays while preserving and publicizing Bulgarian history. Rooms in the house include a historic replica of a traditional living room and other displays show traditional costume and dress. Visitors to the "House" can even weave native carpets on an antique loom.


The grant will aid in the restoration of the roof and windows of the Kalofer History House to preserve the building for future generations of locals and visitors to enjoy. The "House" received the 2005 SKAL Eco-tourism Award and was third-runner up in the 2004 Conde Nast Eco-tourism Awards.


Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center,
Harkers Island, North Carolina


The Core Sound Region offers a wealth of historic, cultural, and natural resources for the state of North Carolina. The fragility of the Outer Banks coupled with explosive development has accelerated the need for protection and education concerning this important ecosystem. The grant with local matching funds will help restore Willow Pond and aid in the construction of a hiking trail. The trail will support sustainable rural tourism development at the local level and further enhance state and regional tourism by offering this unique heritage/eco-tourism experience.


Four Corners Outdoor School of Education,
Monticello, Utah


Since 1984 the programs offered by The Four Corners School of Outdoor Education have served 27,000+ participants, with ages ranging from 6 to 90. The School has provided more than 37,000 hours of youth and adult service on public lands, 87,000 hours of student-youth education, 196,000 hours of adult education, and 30,000 hours of teacher training. The school has awarded 200 teacher scholarships; repaired or rehabilitated hundreds of miles of roads and trails, and worked to protect more than 20 archaeological sites on public lands. The grant will be earmarked for equipment for their educational/eco-tourism Southwest Safari Camps trips. This unique, award-winning program was designed to be a sustainable earned income program that partially supports three other conservation education programs.


Mount Vernon Cultural District,
Baltimore, Maryland


The downtown areas of America’s major cities have enjoyed a renaissance reversing decades of out-migration to the suburbs. The Mount Vernon Cultural District was formed in 1996 to address urban challenges in the Mount Vernon community. Through a collaborative partnership among the cultural institutions, local charitable foundations, and government agencies, the Mount Vernon Cultural District seeks to improve the community for residents, workers and visitors. The grant, matched by the Baltimore City capital funds, is for the design and production of interpretive and educational materials. Their purpose is to highlight past, current, and future conservation efforts at 25 sites and districts in the heart of downtown Baltimore that comprise the Cultural Walk. The Baltimore City Heritage Area is a partner in this project to stimulate cultural heritage tourism in museums and neighborhoods beyond the Inner Harbor.


The Wharton Esherick Museum,
Paoli, Pennsylvania


Wharton Esherick was heralded by the national art and design community as the "Dean of American Craftsmen". It was an accolade not previously bestowed on an American artist and an indication of the unique nature of Esherick’s work and influence. Tourism Cares’ grant to the Wharton Esherick Museum is matched by a challenge grant from the Chester County Convention and Visitors Bureau for the restoration of the south façade of the Esherick Stone Sculpting Studio. The 1926 studio is a National Historic Landmark for Architecture and one of 20 sites selected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to participate in the Historic Artists Homes and Studios project.


Winslow Homer Studio, Portland Museum of Art,
Prouts Neck, Maine


The Winslow Homer Studio is located on the rocky coast in Prouts Neck, Maine, 12 miles from the Portland Museum of Art. The studio is where the great American artist Winslow Homer (1836-1910) lived and painted many of his masterpieces until his death. A National Historic Landmark, the studio was originally built as a carriage house and renovated by the architect John Calvin Stevens. The grant will aid in the architectural conservation and preservation of this important American cultural and artistic icon.

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