Students Nationwide "Dig" Into Valley Forge, Explore Presidential Log Cabins Electronically
New "Discover Presidential Log Cabins Program" Brings Past Presidents to Life

May 1, 2000 — Washington, D.C.— This year, while the nation's focus is on future presidential leadership, students nationwide will direct their attention — and their computers — toward four of our nation's greatest leaders of the past.

Through Electronic Field Trips, an interactive Web site (www.nps.gov/LogCabin) and an educational school video, thousands of students across the country will participate in the first comprehensive archeological dig at Valley Forge, PA, where General George Washington forged his triumphant Continental Army. They will explore the log cabin where Union Army General U.S. Grant met with President Abraham Lincoln to plan the final battles of the Civil War and the reconstruction of the South. And they will learn how the profound beauty of the North Dakota Badlands molded Theodore Roosevelt into a rancher and our nation's earliest conservation president.

Each of these tremendously significant historic sites is found within the National Park System and each is undergoing actual restoration or exploration this year — with the work captured on the Web site and video as it progresses.

The cabin restorations, archeological dig and school outreach are all part of the 2000 "Discover Presidential Log Cabins" Program sponsored by Aurora Foods Inc., makers of Log Cabin syrup. Aurora Foods is a Proud Restoration Partner with the National Park Foundation (NPF), providing $1 million over four years to restore historically significant log cabin sites in the National Parks.

"These park sites represent three significant periods in our nation's history, two American wars and defining moments in the lives of four of our nation's greatest leaders," said Ed Yuhas, general manager of Aurora's breakfast division. "We are making a wide array of multi-media resources available free of charge to teachers so their students can follow the restorations and learn about American history as it relates to the presidents and eras covered in this year's three cabin sites," he said.

One of this year's cabin restoration sites — Grant's City Point cabin — holds additional significance for Aurora Foods because of its connection to President Abraham Lincoln. Patrick J. Towle, who first introduced Log Cabin syrup in 1887, named the syrup in honor of President Abraham Lincoln's rustic beginnings in a log cabin.

Educational Program
The educational program includes six Electronic Field Trips to the restoration and archeological dig sites. Registered classrooms will log onto the Web site to learn more about specific projects during live chats with national park historians and experts. National Park Service (NPS) representatives will help students understand the importance of these sites and the leaders they commemorate and explain the value of:

  • The ongoing archeological dig at Washington's Continental Army Encampment at Valley Forge National Historical Park, Valley Forge, PA;
  • Log cabin restorations at Grant's Civil War Headquarters at City Point in the Petersburg National Battlefield, Hopewell, VA; and Roosevelt's Maltese Cross Cabin at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Medora, ND.

The program also features a teacher's discussion guide with classroom activities, a video and classroom poster.

Web Site
New images and information will continually refresh the Web site as log cabin restorations and the archeological dig progress throughout the year. The site highlights educational and historical information about the presidents and offers interactive games and a "Build Your Own Log Cabin" area for students. Parent and teacher sections emphasize learning opportunities and links to additional Web resources, as well as a travel planning section so families can explore these National Parks in person.

Public Service Announcements
Consumers will be encouraged to visit the Web site through public service announcements (PSAs) set to air nationwide this summer. The PSAs will highlight each of the restoration sites and encourages families to plan virtual — or actual — trips to the sites to see preservation in progress.

Partnership
The "Discover Presidential Log Cabins" Program marks the third year of the ongoing public/private partnership between Aurora Foods, NPF and NPS. The program launched in 1998 with the restoration of the Gatekeeper's Cabin at Grand Canyon National Park. Last year, the partnership restored four cabins in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

"Aurora Foods' funding has made it possible for the National Park Service to conduct important preservation and restoration work that falls outside normal NPS budgets," James Maddy, NPF president, said. "Public/private partnerships are a major asset to the parks in preserving the past for future generations to enjoy. We are thrilled about the addition of the educational program that will involve students nationwide in these historic renovations," he said.

The "Discover Presidential Log Cabins" educational program is especially geared for 6th to 8th grade social studies and/or history classes. To receive information about registering for the program please call toll-free 1-800-943-6775, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, fax your request to 212-921-9536, or email: logcabin@westglen.com.

Aurora Foods, Inc. (NYSE: AOR) specializes in buying leading branded grocery brands in the U.S. and building their market share. In addition to Log Cabin® syrup, Aurora owns Mrs. Butterworth's® breakfast products, Duncan Hines® baking mixes, Van de Kamp's® and Mrs. Paul's® frozen seafood products, Chef's Choice® premium frozen skillet meals, Celeste® frozen pizza, Aunt Jemima® frozen breakfast products and Lender's® Bagels.

The National Park Foundation is the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service. Created by Congress in 1967, the Foundation raises support from corporations, foundations, and individuals to preserve and enhance America's National Parks. Over the past five years, NPF has raised more than $42 million in direct support for the National Parks. The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.

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Contacts:

Jen Larson, National Park Foundation, 202-530-1487 (jlarson@goparks.org)
Sue Waldron, National Park Service, 202-208-5477 (sue_waldron@nps.gov)
Ed Yuhas, Aurora Foods/Log Cabin, 614-436-8600 (eyuhas@aurorafoods.com)
Jill Sharp or Kim Scher, Lord, Sullivan & Yoder, 614-846-7777 (jsharp@lsy.com; kscher@lsy.com)