6 Ways to Support Our National Parks All Year-Round
Preserving America's natural, cultural, and historical heritage is a massive undertaking – one that the National Park Service has been committed to for over a hundred years. As the official charitable partner of the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation does all it can to ensure that parks continue to thrive for future generations.
None of our work is possible without help from the incredible community of park supporters who rally around this special cause. And it’s a mission we live and breathe year-round.
Your national park donations – financial and otherwise – preserve and protect more than 400 NPS units nationwide. Here's what you can do today:
Make a donation
Making a financial contribution to the National Park Foundation is one of the most effective ways to support the parks. National park donations of any amount fund countless projects and improvements throughout America's national parks, which collectively preserve more than 84 million acres of our most irreplaceable landscapes and historical sites. Even a small, one-time donation is appreciated, but there are also several more creative ways to give:
- Donate to a national park in honor of a loved one
- Join NPF, or renew your membership.
- Plan a future gift through your retirement or life insurance plan.
- Support parks all year long by scheduling a monthly gift.
Volunteer at a park
Writing a check is a great way to support parks – donating your time is just as valuable. National parks across the country rely on volunteers for everything from cleanup efforts and invasive plant removal to citizen science and artist-in-residence programs.
The opportunities are limitless and simultaneously provide volunteers with the chance to get active in the parks themselves. By volunteering, you lend your unique skills, talents, and knowledge to preserving your national parks.
Become a friend
More than 200 Friends Groups across the country partner with national parks to carry out projects and programs of all kinds, from supporting restoration projects to hosting special events. Find a park near you to learn more about how to support your favorite park through participating in Friends Groups activities.
Support cooperating associations
In many parks, crucial services like operating bookstores, developing park-related publications, and supporting educational programming are carried out not by the NPS, but by cooperating associations.
In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, for example, the park bookstore is run by the independent Great Smoky Mountains Association, which supports the park by sharing revenue from the sale of its publications. You can support cooperative organizations in parks all over the country by signing up for a membership or by making a purchase when you visit a park.
Pay It Forward
National parks are preserved so that all people can explore our nation’s natural beauty and rich history. Still, many people don’t realize that the National Park System is made up of over 400 sites across the country. One of the best ways you can help support our parks is by helping others understand all the parks have to offer. Reach out to a friend, a colleague, or a family member and bring them along with you the next time you #FindYourPark at your favorite site. By introducing somebody to a park experience, you can continue to pay it forward and help create future, life-long park lovers.
Visit a park
Want to understand why it’s so important to preserve these places for future generations? There's no better way to learn than through first-hand experience. Find a park near you and hit the road to experience them for yourself.
Parks with entrance fees use the revenue to keep the parks running. The 200+ fee-free parks also appreciate the visits, as park visitors spread the word about the park’s value and help support the surrounding community. Your continued interest and involvement are crucial.
If America's wild landscapes and cultural heritage are important to you, there are many ways to contribute to the future of our national parks. And it’s always a good time to think about how you can make a difference for these remarkable places – whether it’s in celebration of a special park anniversary, a day of service, #GivingTuesday, or a year-end charitable donation!
Connect with the National Park Foundation today to learn more about how you can support our mission to preserve America’s national parks and programs. Then get out and #FindYourPark/#EncuentraTuParque to enjoy what you’ve helped protect!