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Outer Banks Forever announces new projects for Outer Banks national parks

Outer Banks Forever, the local nonprofit partner of the three national parks of the Outer Banks – Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial – has announced its new slate of projects and programs to protect and enhance these special places.

“Our national parks are an important part of our OBX community. We are proud to help our parks become more resilient and continue to meet the ever-changing needs of both locals and visitors,” says Jessica Green, director of Outer Banks Forever.

David Hallac, superintendent of the National Parks of Eastern North Carolina notes, “The National Park Service is grateful to have a partner to help us achieve our goals and complete these projects to better serve our visitors. We look forward to working with Outer Banks Forever to make these projects a reality.”

The following projects were identified as priorities by the National Park Service and Outer Banks Forever’s Advisory Board. Each project aims to enhance the park experience for locals and visitors, expand education and access opportunities and provide the margin of excellence expected from the Outer Banks national parks.

Each project will be implemented as funds are raised through donations, corporate sponsorships, and grants. To make these projects possible, visit obxforever.org/impact to learn more.

Current projects:

Views From The Parks: Webcam Installation — In partnership with the Outer Banks Visitor’s Bureau and Surfline, this project brings Outer Banks parks’ amazing views anywhere by installing webcams on the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Waterside Theater at Fort Raleigh and Wright Brothers Memorial.

Adopt-A-Nest – To be launched in the next few weeks, supporters will be able to adopt a sea turtle nest being tracked by park staff. Here’s how it works. Give a minimum of $100. Within five days, a real sea turtle nest is assigned with initial information and a digital adoption certificate. When your nest hatches, an update with information the park collects about the nest will be sent. The information includes turtle species, number of eggs and number of hatchlings.

To be notified when the program starts, sign up for OBX Forever email at OBXforever.org/contact-us/

Artist in Residence – This new program supports local artists through two four-week residencies each year in the off season. Artists will produce new works inspired by the parks and provide public demonstrations and talks.

Aviation Trail Through Time – A series of new educational displays will be installed at Wright Brothers National Memorial along the walkway from the First Flight Boulder to the base of Big Kill Devil Hill. The displays tell the aviation story from First Flight to the current pursuit of space exploration,

Kayak Launch at Oregon Inlet – This project will help build an ADA-accessible kayak launch at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. The kayak launch will provide a safe way for non-motorized water sport enthusiasts of all abilities to access and experience the sound.

Expanding Digital Learning at Wright Brothers National Memorial – This project will purchase equipment and technology resources to create a new online video series, implement live in-classroom virtual field trips and build new digital partnerships with other aviation-focused parks around the country.

Pathways for OBX National Parks –This multi-year project will help build paved multi-use paths in all three parks and create new and safer ways to explore these special places. Plans for these new paths are still in development. Phase 1 of the project will be a multi-use path in Buxton at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse with details to be announced this fall.

In addition to these new projects, Outer Banks Forever will continue its popular Adopt-a-Pony program, which supports the care of the ponies on Ocracoke Island, as well as its involvement in the Love the Beach, Respect the Ocean campaign in conjunction with the National Park Service, Dare County and local EMS and lifesaving services.

For more information about how you can help Outer Banks national parks and support these projects, visit OBXforever.org or contact Jessica Green at (252) 423-4545 or JessicaGreen@obxforever.org.

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