NASCAR driver Ryan Newman announced an exciting new conservation program today during a press conference at Michigan International Speedway: Racing For Wildlife.
Racing for Wildlife will work to build an American land legacy for generations of race fans who share Newman’s love of the outdoors. Newman teamed up with The Conservation Fund to launch the program in an effort to help preserve America’s great outdoors and educate children about the importance of taking care of our nation’s land and waterways.
Racing For Wildlife’s first project is collaboration with Michigan International Speedway and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to restore Mill Lake Youth Camp. The historic camp, built in the 1930s, is approximately 30 miles north of MIS in the 20,000-acre Waterloo Recreation Area. The camp is located on a scenic lake that offers excellent recreation and fishing. This restoration project will reopen the camp to families as a year-round facility that can accommodate more than 140 people.
“When we talked about where to launch Racing For Wildlife, we naturally thought about partnering with Michigan International Speedway,” Newman said. “Last summer, MIS President Roger Curtis and I talked about our shared interest in conservation, and the track has been a generous supporter of the Ryan Newman Foundation in the past. Plus, I grew up just a few hours away from this area, so this first campaign really hits close to home for me.”
Racing For Wildlife unites the NASCAR community with passionate land and water conservationists across the country. The Conservation Fund and the Ryan Newman Foundation, through this partnership, are leading the effort to create an American land legacy for generations of race fans who love the outdoors.
“Ryan Newman is as passionate about the outdoors as he is talented at driving a race car,” Michigan International Speedway President Roger Curtis said. “Teaming with The Conservation Fund, one of America’s top land protection groups, to launch Racing For Wildlife will help inspire other drivers, NASCAR sponsors and millions of fans of all ages to protect, respect and enjoy America’s wildlife habitats. We’re thrilled that Racing For Wildlife has chosen Mill Lake Youth Camp as its first of many projects because the area surrounding MIS is truly a state park setting that deserves protection and support.”
Each year, Racing For Wildlife will pursue a new conservation project that offers recreational opportunities near urban areas so families can easily enjoy the outdoors in protected places. In selecting conservation projects, Racing For Wildlife will work with local land conservation groups and wildlife management agencies to find opportunities that fulfill state-recognized conservation priorities while inviting a new generation to experience the outdoors.
“Today in Michigan and in the future, across the country, Racing For Wildlife will provide new opportunities for kids and families to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors,” Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund said. “Racing for Wildlife is exciting because we’re inviting all motor sports enthusiasts to join us in saving America’s wildlife lands. Racing families – whether they fish or hike, canoe or just relax outside – can help save and restore the lands that we all enjoy. We thank our partners for making this terrific project possible.”
DNR Director Rebecca Humphries added: “Getting folks outside, especially our young people, is what the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is all about. We are excited to work with Ryan Newman, The Conservation Fund and Michigan International Speedway on a project that will encourage outdoor recreation. When people spend time outdoors, they become more invested in our natural resources. They become good conservation stewards, interested in protecting and preserving our great outdoor places for their children and grandchildren.”
CARFAX, host of this weekend’s CARFAX 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at Michigan International Speedway, is one of the first companies to voice its support for Racing For Wildlife.
“CARFAX is honored the Ryan Newman Foundation and The Conservation Fund have chosen today, just hours prior to the CARFAX 250, to announce their exciting Racing for Wildlife program in cooperation with MIS,” Dick Raines, president of the company, said. “CARFAX looks forward to supporting this important wildlife conservation and education program in the months ahead as the renovation of the Mill Lake Youth Camp begins.”
To find out more about Racing For Wildlife or to make a donation, visit www.racingforwildlife.org.