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Cherry blossom branches extend over a still pool of water. In the distance, you can spot the Washington Monument

Congressional Charter

Cherry blossoms bloom in National Mall and Memorial Parks
Bigstock Photo / David Park

Charter of Incorporation

Public Law 90-209
90th Congress, S. 814
December 18, 1967


To establish the National Park Foundation

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in order to encourage private gifts of real and personal property or any income therefrom or other interest therein for the benefit of, or in connection with, the National Park Service, its activities, or its services, and thereby to further the conservation of natural, scenic, historic, scientific, educational, inspirational, or recreational resources for future generations of Americans, there is hereby established a charitable and nonprofit corporation to be known as the National Park Foundation to accept and administer such gifts.

Sec. 2. The National Park Foundation shall consist of a Board having as members the Secretary of the Interior, the Director of the National Park Service, ex officio, and no less than six private citizens of the United States appointed by the Secretary of the Interior whose initial terms shall be staggered to assure continuity of administration. Thereafter, the term shall be six years, unless a successor is chosen to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was chosen, in which event the successor shall be chosen only for the remainder of that term. The Secretary of the Interior shall be the Chairman of the Board and the Director of the National Park Service shall be the Secretary of the Board. Membership on the Board shall not be deemed to be an office within the meaning of the statutes of the United States. A majority of the members of the Board serving at any one time shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and the Foundation shall have an official seal, which shall be judicially noticed. The Board shall meet at the call of the Chairman and there shall be at least one meeting each year.

No compensation shall be paid to the members of the Board for their services as members, but they shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary traveling and subsistence expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties as such members out of National Park Foundation funds available to the Board for such purposes. The Foundation shall succeed to all right, title, and interest of the National Park Trust Fund Board established in any property or funds, including the National Park Trust Fund, subject to the terms and conditions thereof. The National Park Trust Fund is hereby abolished, and the Act of July 10, 1935 (49 Stat. 477; 16 U.S.C. 19 et seq.), as amended, is hereby repealed.

Sec. 3. The Foundation is authorized to accept, receive, solicit, hold, administer, and use any gifts, devises, or bequests, either absolutely or in trust of real or personal property or any income therefrom or other interest therein for the benefit of or in connection with, the National Park Service, its activities, or its services: Provided, That the Foundation may not accept any such gift, devise, or bequest which entails any expenditure other than from the resources of the Foundation. An interest in the real property includes, among other things, easements or other rights for preservation, conservation, protection, or enhancement by and for the public of natural, scenic, historic, scientific, educational, inspirational, or recreational resources. A gift, devise, or bequest may be accepted by the Foundation even though it is encumbered, restricted, or subject to beneficial interests of private persons if any current or future interest therein is for the benefit of the National Park Service, its activities, or its services.

Sec. 4. Except as otherwise required by the instrument of transfer, the Foundation may sell, lease, invest, reinvest, retain, or otherwise dispose of or deal with any property or income thereof as the Board may from time to time determine. The Foundation shall not engage in any business, nor shall the Foundation make any investment that may not lawfully be made by a trust company in the District of Columbia, except that the Foundation may make any investment authorized by the instrument of transfer, and may retain any property accepted by the Foundation. The Foundation may utilize the services and facilities of the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice, and such services and facilities may be made available on request to the extent practicable without reimbursement therefor.

Sec. 5. The Foundation shall have perpetual succession, with all the usual powers and obligations of a corporation acting as a trustee, including the power to sue and to be sued in its own name, but the members of the Board shall not be personally liable, except for malfeasance.

Sec. 6. The Foundation shall have the power to enter into contracts, to execute instruments, and generally to do any and all lawful acts necessary or appropriate to its purposes.

Sec. 7. In carrying out the provisions of this Act, the Board may adopt bylaws, rules, and regulations necessary for the administration of its functions and contract for any necessary services.

Sec. 8. The Foundation and any income or property received or owned by it, and all transactions relating to such income or property, shall be exempt from all Federal, State, and local taxation with respect thereto. The Foundation may, however, in the discretion of its directors, contribute toward the costs of local government in amounts not in excess of those which it would be obligated to pay such government if it were not exempt from taxation by virtue of the foregoing or by virtue of its being a charitable and nonprofit corporation and may agree so to contribute with respect to property transferred to it and the income derived therefrom if such agreement is a condition of the transfer. Contributions, gifts, and other transfers made to or for the use of the Foundation shall be regarded as contributions, gifts, or transfers to or for the use of the United States.

Sec. 9. The United States shall not be liable for any debts, defaults, acts, or omissions of the Foundation.

Sec. 10. The Foundation shall, as soon as practicable after the end of each fiscal year, transmit to Congress an annual report of its proceedings and activities, including a full and complete statement of its receipts, expenditures, and investments.

Approved December 18, 1967.