On July 6, Zion Natural History Association and its fundraising arm, the Zion National Park Foundation, received official notification of a $201,000 grant provided by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We qualified for the grant as one of the top nine most voted for parks in the Partners in Preservation: National Parks campaign. And we thank all of you who participated in the voting that occurred daily from late May to July 5.

The Foundation will apply the grant to help preserve and maintain the historic Zion-Mount Carmel Highway Switchbacks and the iconic 1.1-mile tunnel in the park, and will receive the grant by September 2016. Work on the project is already underway.

Our initiative to vie for this grant proved that Zion National Park is a national treasure in the hearts of a large number of the 190,000 people who participated in the voting. It’s heartening to see how our proposal stood up with those of many of the great national parks across the country. The effort allowed us to connect with thousands of friends of Zion National Park, and shows how much people care about its future.

A decade after its inception, Partners in Preservation, a community-based initiative created to raise awareness of the importance of preserving historic places, honored the National Park Service Centennial by directing its efforts to historic sites within national park units in need of preservation support. Twenty different park sites with unique histories, reflective of the diverse communities and experiences that comprise our nation’s cultural fabric, participated in the campaign. The nine winning sites accumulated the most votes throughout the campaign hosted by media partner National Geographic.

“We are thrilled with the response and support for Partners in Preservation: National Parks and are proud to be awarding $2 million in grants to extraordinary sites that tell the story of our national park system and reflect the rich cultural resources within it,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. “The campaign received more than 1.1 million votes. We thank everyone who voted and applaud all participants of the campaign, as each helped further the public dialogue about the National Park Service’s preservation needs.”

“Partners in Preservation: National Parks has shone new light on the importance of rehabilitating historic resources in national parks and provided much needed funding to make them more accessible to visitors for years to come,” said Stephanie K. Meeks, President and CEO, National Trust for Historic Preservation. “And through their participation in the campaign, more than 190,000 Americans have reaffirmed that these places matter – to our history, our nation, and our communities.”

“The Partners in Preservation program is an excellent example of the many ways private organizations have always been essential to the success and longevity of the National Park System,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “These grants will enable our parks to restore and preserve priceless historical features that make a visit to a national park so unique.”