Published On: Thu, Apr 24th, 2014

U.S. National Park Service Provides Expertise to Aruba’s Arikok Park

ArikokORANJESTAD - A U.S. National Park Service (NPS) team traveled to Aruba March 24 – 29 to provide technical advice on the management of Aruba’s Arikok National Park and a proposed system of more than a dozen smaller protected areas. NPS Chief of Planning Patrick Gregerson, Superintendent Pat Kenney with the Cape Lookout National Seashore, and Jon Putnam of the Office of International Affairs met with
high-level Aruban governmental officials and management and board of Arikok National Park Foundation (FNPA) during their visit. NPS is preparing initial recommendations for FNPA, and there are plans for a follow-up workshop to help Arikok staff develop a management planning document.

The park receives approximately 100,000 visitors yearly, the majority of which are tourists. Arikok employs over 40 personnel, including entrance cashiers, administrative staff, and rangers that guide visitors, work with school groups and maintain the park’s trails and facilities.

In 2000, Marc Koenigs, then Superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area, visited Aruba and Arikok National Park. His recommendations at the time included seeking NPS assistance in interpretation, cave lighting and other topics. In 2009, a Government of Aruba delegation, including Minister of Environment Michelle Hooyboer, visited the NPS Office of International Affairs (OIA) to discuss a long-term partnership between NPS and Aruba. In 2011, NPS and FNPA conferred via teleconference regarding possible assistance to the Arikok National Park’s new visitor center. In a December 2013 meeting of NPS OIA, FNPA Chair Greg Peterson, and Park Director Diego Marquez, FPNA offered to pay for the NPS team’s current visit to Aruba.

More information on Arikok National Park can be found at the following website:
http://www.arubanationalpark.org/ and on their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/arikoknationalpark

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