By D. Ray Smith
The American Museum of Science and Energy Foundation is pleased to partner with the Manhattan Project National Historical Park—Oak Ridge by creating a fund in which tax-deductible contributions can be received to support the specific and defined needs of one of the nation’s newest national parks.
As you may know, funding for the new park will be somewhat limited, as is funding for all our nation’s national parks. The amount planned for Fiscal Year 2016 is $180,000, which will cover the salary requirements of a superintendent and will begin the master planning initiative necessary to begin effective operations of the national park at three sites: Los Alamos, New Mexico; Hanford, Washington; and Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
We, in Oak Ridge, are fortunate to have Niki Nicholas, superintendent of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and of the Obed Wild and Scenic River, as the person the National Park Service has selected to manage the Manhattan Project National Historical Park—Oak Ridge. Ms. Nicholas is a dedicated professional with substantial experience managing national park units.
The Park Service has already taken the initiative to post a job opening to increase the park ranger presence on site at the Contact/Visitor Center at the American Museum of Science and Energy. The presence of a Park Service representative will be increased from Saturdays only to daily coverage. The position will be filled soon.
As the park begins operations, some critical needs have already been identified. To help address these needs, a fund has been established for Friends of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park—Oak Ridge to accept donations. Outlined below are some of the identified needs.
The agreement between the AMSEF’s Friends of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park—Oak Ridge and the Park Service sets forth a simple but thorough process for managing the account established exclusively to support the identified critical needs of the park in Oak Ridge. Such needs include, but are not limited to, volunteer coordination; interpretative and educational staff; development and production of interpretive materials, programs, plans, and technology; teacher-ranger-teacher program costs; historic preservation activities or documentation of historic buildings or sites; planning, design, or construction to improve public access; and support for social media efforts.
Specific identified needs for the park in Oak Ridge are:
- Print Park (Oak Ridge site) newspaper—$500 per run of 3,000
- Print Park (Oak Ridge site) Junior Ranger Booklets—$900 per run of 1,000
- Junior Ranger badges and patches—$4,000
- Volunteer uniforms and supplies—$2,000
- Part-time education specialist park ranger—$20,000
- Manhattan Project National Historical Park—Oak Ridge site display at Knoxville Airport—$3,300
- Information technology equipment—$6,000
- Part-time lead ranger—$30,000
- Fiscal year 2016 teacher-ranger-teacher summer program—$4,000 per teacher
- Seasonal park ranger—$16,000
The contributions donated to this fund are intended for use only at the Oak Ridge location. However, donated funds will not be used to pay Ms. Nicholas’ salary.
Support can also be provided by check mailed to the AMSE Foundation at 300 S. Tulane Avenue, Oak Ridge, TN 37830. Checks can be made out to: Friends of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Fund—Oak Ridge.
Here is the link to the website where you can make your donations to the special needs the staff for the new park have identified: http://amsefoundation.org/friends-of-manhattan-project-national-historical-park-fund/.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ray Smith at [email protected] or (865) 482-4224.
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