Washington, D.C., January 7, 2020 -National Park Trust announced that their donors just helped preserve the geothermal wonders of Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico by securing a remaining land parcel. This victory marks the end of an 11-year-long effort to protect the park’s geothermal features.
Since 2008, the National Park Service has sought to acquire the 40-acre parcel. Their chance finally came this year, and the Park Trust’s community of supporters provided supplemental funding to assist in its purchase. The parcel includes a collection of sulfuric acid fumaroles, mud pots and hot springs that visitors will be permitted to explore.
“We are excited to work with the National Park Service to complete this important project by helping to secure the last inholding in the park. Soon, park visitors for generations to come will be able to explore volcanic science at this stunning and unique site,” said Park Trust Executive Director Grace Lee.“We are so grateful for the philanthropic gifts that made this project possible including, contributions from the Cornell Douglas Foundation, the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust, an anonymous donor and a gift from Ms. Frances Kennedy made in memory of her late husband, Roger Kennedy, the 14thdirector of the National Park Service.”
“The property, with a little tender loving care, will be a stunning showcase of the park’s geologic history and will likely help us secure a designation as a park with significant geothermal resources,”said Valles Caldera National Preserve Superintendent Jorge Silva-Bañuelos.
Valles Caldera National Preserve is home to one of the oldest supervolcanoes in America. It formed about 1.25 million years ago, when a massive volcanic eruption created a 13-mile wide circular depression. The discovery of ancient obsidian spear points, pottery and home structures, indicates a human presence as early as 11,000 years ago.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, ranching, timbering and mineral extraction were ubiquitous in the caldera area; now the natural landscape is slowly returning. Because the 40-acre parcel was used as a health spa in the early 1900s, names of the springs on the property include Kidney and Stomach Trouble Spring, Lemonade Spring and Footbath Spring.
ABOUT NATIONAL PARK TRUST
National Park Trust (NPT) is a non-profit dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. NPT is the only land trust with a comprehensive mission of protecting national parks through land acquisition and creating a pipeline of future park stewards by getting kids to parks. Since 1983, NPT has completed 70 land projects in 31 states, 1 US Territory, and Washington, DC. This school year, NPT provided nearly 20,000 children with park trips through their nationally recognized Buddy Bison Programs and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest, both of which support Title I schools in under-served communities. Find out more at www.parktrust.org