Explorer Corps program saw 142% increase in participation in 2022 as it asked travelers how well they knew Utah and encouraged them to find new adventures throughout the state
SALT LAKE CITY – October 3, 2022 – The Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU) has announced two winners of its Race to 29! Sweepstakes; each will receive a free weeklong rental of a state-of-the-art Winnebago from Kellville Vans to redeem during summer 2023. The sweepstakes increased awareness and incentivized participation in year two of Explorer Corps, NHMU’s adventure program highlighting lesser-known Utah natural and cultural history gems that make the state the amazing destination it is.
Sweepstakes winner Lynn Muller of Salt Lake City, UT, moved to Salt Lake City eight years ago to be a “hands on” grandma to her granddaughter. “I came from the beaches of South Carolina, so I’ve had to learn the art of hiking in the mountains,” said Muller. “I love the outdoors and the beauty of nature, and I also volunteer at Red Butte Garden. This great prize will enable me do more exploring of the southern parks with my family. It is wonderful to be a Utah Grammy!”
Designed to celebrate Utah’s diverse natural history throughout state, Explorer Corps offers drive-by sightseeing, easy park-and-walk overlooks, a bit of off-roading and hiking, and some idyllic summer recreation spots to enjoy. Most markers will likely take explorers to places they’ve never been before, creating lasting memories and many chances to learn something new along the way.
Meghan Lynch, also of Salt Lake City, was the second lucky Sweepstakes winner. As a single mom working full-time, she and her son could not believe they had won. “We both wept with excitement when I learned that we won the van for a week,” she said. “We already love NHMU so much...and it’s helping us create lifetime memories by getting us geared up for an epic summer adventure! We are beyond grateful.”
Explorer Corps by the numbers
From May 25 to September 5, 2022:
· 5206 entered the Race to 29, with participants from 30 states outside of Utah.
· Explorer Corps saw a 142% increase in Race to 29 participation compared with last year.
· More than 2200 people entered our 20 weekly social media giveaways.
· We know of at least six more participants who’ve made it to all 29 county markers!
“Watching this program come to life, bigger and better than its inaugural year, has been magical,” said Jason Cryan, executive director of the Natural History Museum of Utah. “We set out again to entice people to discover – and rediscover - the treasures of Utah, and based on this year’s participation numbers, it’s safe to say we have achieved that. We are thrilled to watch the program grow and develop – look out for even more statewide excitement as we move into its third year in 2023.”
“When we were asked to support the museum in the Natural History Explorer Corps for the second year, it was a no-brainer,” said Teisa Linscott of Kellville Vans. “We absolutely loved seeing the adventures that last year’s winners were able to embark on, and we can’t wait to see where our vans will take this year’s winners!”
While the Race to 29! concluded just after Labor Day weekend, each county’s marker remains in place indefinitely and the museum is encouraging adventurers to continue to explore places they’ve never been before and learn more fun facts about the state.
Special thanks to the State of Utah and the COVID-19 Local Assistance Matching Grant for their support of Explorer Corps 2022, as well as Kellville Vans, KUHL, DNA Cycling, and Utah is Rad for their generous in-kind contributions.
For more information on the program and to find out how to get involved, visit https://nhmu.utah.edu/explorer-corps.
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