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A Perfectly Natural Partnership with L.L.Bean

by Hollis Hughes
Hikers walks along a paved trail on a mountainside
Mount Rainier National Park
NPS Photo / Ivie Metzen

L.L.Bean is an internationally recognized outdoor retailer known for its legendary customer service and high-quality gear and apparel that help to further people’s enjoyment of the outdoors. For more than a hundred years, L.L.Bean has connected generations of Americans to our national parks, a tradition that continues today.

National Park Foundation President and CEO Will Shafroth recently spoke with L.L.Bean’s Executive Chairman of the Board Shawn Gorman to learn more about L.L.Bean’s commitment to celebrate and showcase the many ways individuals can access and enjoy our national parks, especially those that are closer than they realize.

Founded in 1912, L.L.Bean is one of the nation’s top outdoor retailers and is committed to celebrating the shared joy of the outdoors. He says, “Our founder, who is my great-grandfather, Leon Leonwood Bean, really believed that spending time outdoors added quality and quantity to his life… I think that…fundamental belief that spending time outdoors makes one happy is a guiding principle that we still adhere to.”

As a premier corporate sponsor of Find Your Park, L.L.Bean’s support has helped make it easy for everyone to find the parks that are right in their backyard and make time outdoors an accessible goal. Through investments in introductory and welcoming national park experiences, such as Junior Angler and unique family summer programs at parks across the country, L.L.Bean is making it easier to get outdoors and explore national parks.

A woman stands on a rocks overlooking water. She is wearing a rain proof athletic jacket and a backpack.
Courtesy of L.L. Bean

Shawn adds, “a lot of people sometimes think, well, the outdoors might be a little bit too big for me or a little too intimidating. But spending time in the national parks doesn’t have to be about something as aspirational as climbing El Capitan at Yosemite. It can be about doing a sledding adventure at Cuyahoga National Park or birdwatching at Point Reyes National Seashore. There’s just so many opportunities that exist that I would really encourage people to get out and find your park and look at the National Park Foundation site and see all there is to offer and get outside.”

At a time when we need nature more than ever, efforts to connect people to the great outdoors are critical. Thanks to partners like L.L.Bean, the National Park Foundation is helping young people and families easily access and experience the restorative power of nature. We invite you to discover the mental, physical, and emotional benefits of the outdoors in your local national park.