America's Best Idea

How We Help

Inspired by the Ken Burns’ film “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” which originally premiered on PBS in September 2009, the America’s Best Idea program connects diverse, underserved and under-engaged populations throughout the United States with their national parks in innovative and meaningful ways through a variety of environmental, adventure, historical, and other activities.

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Success Story

  • The Arlington House Robert E. Lee Memorial offers a compelling example of how America’s Best Idea programs successfully reach out to underserved populations. In 2012, Arlington House hosted two programs...


America's Best Idea Photos

America’s Best Idea Grantees

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
Three distinct groups of underserved youth will come together to examine and interpret Bethune's Legacy in a three day leadership workshop. Participants will also complete 20 hours of volunteer service in a national park.
Old Spanish National Historic Trail
The project will produce two short (2-3 minute) podcasts highlighting the people who traveled the trail and relating how their experiences shapes New Mexicans today.


America’s Best Idea” is made possible through the generous support of L.L. Bean, DISNEY, the Anschutz Foundation, and the Ahmanson Foundation.