How Private Support Protects Our Parks

November 22, 2017Stephanie YeldellNPF Blog
Lassen Volcanic National Park — National Park Service

America’s national parks embody our shared heritage, values, and spirit. Since their beginnings the national parks have benefited from private support, often from small businesses and corporations. In addition to the critical and continued support from private donors, the National Park Foundation’s prestigious group of corporate partners supports national parks in a wide variety of ways, including: providing funding, sharing expertise, and introducing new audiences to the national parks community.

As the National Park Service’s official national charitable partner, our mandate is to support our national parks and programs. Congressionally chartered 50 years ago, we work closely with our colleagues at the National Park Service to address a multitude of evolving challenges.

Working Together

From protecting America’s national parks, to connecting people to all they have to offer, to inspiring the next generation of national park stewards, we could not fulfill our mission without the generous support of our corporate partners. Here are just a few examples of projects corporate partners have helped support in 2017:

Looking to the Past and Future in NYC

Neon sign of Stonewall Inn in the window on a brick building
Timothy Schenck/NPS

Stonewall National Monument was designated in 2016 as the first site in the National Park System dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ history. Representing a more inclusive and robust American narrative, the success of the new monument required private support and leadership.

Responding to this call, corporate partners are helping to ensure the site’s story is told by providing critical funding needed for community outreach efforts and the development of curriculum and interpretive materials.

Building Healthy Communities

A group of youth hiking through the green forest of Ice Age National Scenic Trail
Dawn Kish

The Active Trails program helps connect communities to their local and national parks, while also serving to protect and enhance the more than 84 million acres the National Park Service manages. Through this program, people of all ages can explore their national parks by hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, or any number of activities.

The program simultaneously increases volunteer efforts centered on improving existing trails and building new ones. Private support, like that which created the Active Trails program, enables us to continue engaging families, individuals, and local communities with parks across the country.

Getting Kids Outdoors

Kids paddling in a canoe on Cresent Lake at Oylmpic National Park
Dawn Kish

National parks are our country’s grandest centers for fun and learning, naturally transforming into immersive classrooms. Yet students, particularly in urban and disadvantaged communities, are becoming increasingly disconnected from their natural and cultural resources.

Through our Open Outdoors for Kids, we are working to eliminate barriers and create access so children from communities across the United States can experience their national parks.

Thank You

We would like to acknowledge and thank the following partners for supporting our mission to enrich America’s national parks and programs, safeguard our heritage, and inspire future generations of national park enthusiasts:

$1,000,000+

American Express, BMW of North America*, Budweiser, The Coca-Cola Company, Coleman, Disney, Hallmark Channel, Hanes Brands, Humana, REI, Subaru of America, Hallmark Channel, Union Pacific Foundation

$500,000 - $999,999

The Boeing Company, Pendleton Woolen Mills

$100,000 - $499,999

AT&T, BNSF Railway, Celestron, Chevron, Columbia, Farberware, GE Lighting*, Google's Made with Code, Google.org Charitable Giving Fund of Tides Foundation, Harland-Clarke, The North Face, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Salesforce, Sunshine Bouquet, Toad&Co., Tyson Foods, Inc., The UPS Foundation, Vacation Races

$25,000 - $99,999

Aflac Incorporated, Airbnb, Black Bear Diner, Brooks Running Company, CamelBak, Chaco, Comcast, Crown Trails Headwear, Eagles Nest Outfitters, ecoStick Sweeteners, Evolve, Free People, Greenvelope, Humble Bundle, Hydro Flask, M∙A∙C AIDS Fund, Marine Layer, Microsoft Corporation, Nature’s Path, O.A.R.S., Osprey Packs, Parks Project, Polaris, Stabil Gear, Tailgate Clothing, Co., Target, TomTom, Twitter*, USAopoly, Victorinox Swiss Army, Yakima Products, Inc., Yankee Leisure Group, YETI

*Donated all or part in-kind support

Without the support of corporate partners like those listed above, many of the initiatives that help parks and programs thrive would be hard-pressed to continue. Their contributions, in addition to the generous donations from foundations and individual park enthusiasts across the country, help protect these remarkable places.

Next time you #FindYourPark/#EncuentraTuParque, remember that America’s natural, cultural, and historical treasures need the support of many to keep the National Park System cared-for and accessible for all. 

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