For the Betterment of Your Beloved National Parks

April 11, 2018Rocío LowerNPF Blog
— David Blackley/Flickr
Because when something matters this much, you protect it

Preserving our national inheritance – for all time – is no small feat when you consider the enormity of the task. Yet it is an undertaking we have tirelessly pursued since our inception in 1967.

We protect national parks and create life-long connections to these natural, cultural, and historical gems. As the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, it is our responsibility to guarantee that parks remain protected for future generations. The support of a passionate and engaged community of park lovers propels the National Park Foundation’s mission – it is the driving force behind everything that we do.

Thanks to the individuals, foundations, and companies who help us champion the parks’ cause, we continued the pursuit of our mission and welcomed record-breaking support last fiscal year. Our donor community grew by 29 percent, and we received 17 percent more donations compared to the previous year. This support meant that we were able to award $41 million for the betterment of your beloved parks and public lands.

Private philanthropy and strategic partnerships enable us to make a real difference in our parks. Part of that impact focuses on crucial investments in conservation, preservation, and restoration initiatives. Here are some of the ways these investments were realized across the National Park System.

  • Together with local philanthropic partners, we permanently protected 702 acres, valued at over $47 million, at three national parks including Grand Teton and Acadia national parks, and Harriet Tubman National Historical Park.
  • We funded major historic preservation projects in parks including the Washington Monument, Great Smoky Mountains and Glacier national parks.  
  • We supported an ongoing research study on the impacts of the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park.

The other part of our impact seeks to engage national park stewards. By creating meaningful opportunities for people to connect with all that parks and programs have to offer, we nurture life-long connections to our national treasures. Here are examples of the work our grants facilitated:

  • We hired 274 youth through Youth Conservation Corps at 8 different national parks to help with tasks including restoring and repairing park trails and fences and removing invasive species.
  • We contributed to the development of new citizen science education programs that enable students to experience science beyond the textbook, getting outside and into national parks.
  • We transported nearly 180,000 4th graders from 2,113 different schools to 120 national parks and public lands to experience programs that enhance school science and social studies curricula.

Proud as we are of all that we accomplished together, the reality is that our work is never done. Between cuts in federal funding, the impacts of record-level visitation, and ever-aging infrastructure, these beloved places need us more than ever.

There are many ways you can join us in championing this cause as part of the park community. By standing with us, you will be part of a legacy that began more than a century ago when private citizens joined together to protect our land and its rich history. Our unwavering commitment to this work will ensure this cause remains at the forefront of our national conscience – never to be taken for granted, overlooked, or forgotten.

Thank you to all who have made this exciting work possible – your ongoing support is instrumental in ensuring we can continue to support parks and programs for years to come.

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