DOI / VISTA Team Projects

Jefferson National Parks Association

DOI / VISTA: Shanna Drouin
Supervisor: Robert Dietrich
Address: 11 North Fourth Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63120-1810
County: St. Clair
Voice Telephone: 314-655-1654
Web site:
Congressional District:
Bureau: National Park Service (NPS)


Jefferson National Parks Association (JNPA) is a federally recognized National Park Service cooperating association. As a private non-profit organization, JNPA supports the educational activities of JNEM, as well asUlysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis, the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center in Yankton, SD, Camp River Dubois / Lewis & Clark State Historic Site in Hartford, IL and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area in Minnesota. JNPA’s major source of funding is through the sale of educational products, mostly through museum shop and mail-order catalog sales, admission to interpretive programs and private donations. As a tax-exempt, non-profit organization identified under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code, all JNPA proceeds fund its educational mission.

National Park Service, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial commemorates, through a designed memorial, the vision of Thomas Jefferson for building a unified continental nation and St. Louis’ role as a confluence and a gateway in the westward expansion of the United States during the 19th century.  The park promotes an awareness of key individuals and cultural groups involved in exploring, exploiting, and inhabiting the western lands from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.

The park preserves the architecturally significant Old Courthouse as the site of the Dred Scott case, which divided North and South over the extension of slavery into the western territories and led to the American Civil War.

About the Surrounding Community

By focusing on the Metro-East, the VISTA will engage St. Clair County and East St. Louis, IL community development organizations in the development and execution of planning for undeveloped and underutilized National Park Service resources on the east side of the Mississippi River; thus, developing programming that addresses the community’s need for green space and bio-diversity.

The community needs a robust training and employment experience program.  The St. Clair County current unemployment rate is 9.9%, and 2011-2012 academic year high school graduation rate for low-income students is 73.1%.

Project Overview

This project will assist in moving individuals out of poverty by providing educational, training, and real world employment experience and exposure through organizational volunteerism; thus making individuals a more attractive employment prospect to public and private entities.

Through outreach to community service organizations in St. Clair County and East St. Louis, IL, this project will target the region’s 16 to 25 year old African American demographic to engage them in occupational training through volunteerism in green space and bio-diversity development.

Sponsors and Partners