We wish we had great news for you all about MYLES of Science for this summer, but we don't.
We just got an update from our contact at the National Park Service this past week. The funding for this project was submitted in 2015 and it had gone through 2 approval processes. We received word that it was approved in November and that likely would be funded by January. In that time, the current administration decided to make all Department of Interior grant-funded projects re-submit for application. There have been additional levels of review added to many steps within the National Park Service approval process. This has affected the NPS ability to hire the people they need for the busy summer months, as well. There is no rhyme or reason to the order projects are being reviewed or the length of time they will take to get final approval. The first project submitted for approval is still awaiting review.
Unfortunately, due to the uncertain timeline for funding, we have to postpone the MYLES of Science program offerings until summer of 2019. We are really truly disappointed. We have had to inform our summer staff that they would not have a job for this summer. We had some interesting new places to visit and new research to participate in for this summer. Our newest opportunity was going to be studying the forest and salamander population recovery after the Gatlinburg fires. We do hope that these research opportunities will still be in place for 2019.
Program funds for next summer should be approved by June 14. At that point, we will know if we are funded for next summer.
We apologize for the inconvenience. For those families that we offered a free program for this summer, we have two options:
- Since we offered a free program for this summer, we can refund the cost of $295 for this summer’s program, OR
- You can wait until June when we find out about funding for 2019 and we will hold your spot and choice week for next summer.
NOTE: If the NPS says we will not be funded for next year, we will refund everyone at the $295 rate.
Again we apologize for this. If you are so inclined, please contact your local Congressional Congress person to express your concerns about funding programs through the NPS. These additional levels of re-approval have affected many programs in the National Parks throughout the country and the NPS will cancel many school and summer programs because they do not have funding to pay staff to run the programs.
Thank you so much for being interested in MYLES for the summer of 2018… We do hope to see you in 2019!
Mark and Dottie