Date: August 21, 2009
Contacts: Hugh Vickery
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, AZ - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today visited the Grand Canyon’s South Rim to highlight $10.8 million in projects under President Obama’s economic recovery package that are creating jobs and stimulating the local economy.
Projects at Grand Canyon National Park being funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed earlier this year by the President include repair of trails, improvements to wastewater systems, repair and rehabilitation of housing, and improvements to the park’s visitor center.
For example, the park is investing more than $1 million to restore the South Kaibab, Uncle Jim and Widfors trails traveled by thousands of visitors and mules each day. Trail crews from two youth groups, the American Conservation Experience (ACE) and Coconino Rural Environmental Corps (CREC), are working hand-in-hand with National Park Service (NPS) trail crews to restore these trails. Recovery Act funding will provide the NPS with an opportunity to continue to employ approximately 70 trail crew members from these youth groups throughout the winter.
“The Recovery Act was designed to put people to work now while making investments that have long-term value for our country and our communities,” Salazar said. “That is what we are seeing at the Grand Canyon and at national parks across the country, where Recovery Act investments are creating jobs while leaving lasting legacies through improved park facilities and infrastructure, and better experiences for visitors.”
Approximately four and a half million people visit the Grand Canyon each year, accounting for an estimated $410 million of spending in the local economy and supporting more than 10,000 jobs in gateway communities within 50 miles of the park. In addition, concessionaires in Grand Canyon National Park employ approximately 1,000 people.
The $10.8 million invested at Grand Canyon National Park under the President’s economic recovery package includes:
- Installation of wastewater flow meters to increase visitor health and safety
- Rehabilitation of four historic and two non-historic structures at Supai Camp
- Rehabilitation of historic South Rim housing units
- Facility upgrades in park management offices and visitor center
- Repair and rehabilitation of housing at Supai Camp
- Replacement of doors and painting of historic South Rim facilities to improve energy efficiency
- Replacement of shingles on South Rim quarters
- Preservation treatment on 130 miles of roads
- Rehabilitation of the historic Trans-Canyon Trail
- Repair of the historic North Rim forest trails and trail structures damaged by wildfire
- Purchase of five alternative fuel transit buses
Nationwide, the National Park System will undertake 750 projects with an investment of $750 million in the president’s economic recovery package. All the projects announced today are long-standing priorities of the National Park Service based on its capital planning process.
Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department of the Interior’s economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on the recovery web site and at www.interior.gov/recovery. The website includes an interactive map that enables the public also to follow where and how the department’s recovery dollars are being spent.