Protecting our Most Patriotic Places

July 18, 2019Emily KaminNPF Blog

For many Americans, summer vacation is not complete without a trip to a national park. For some families, this means packing up the car for a cross-country road trip and stopping at sites along the way. While others will board a flight to visit a park that’s been waiting at the top of their bucket list. And of course, there’s those of us who will enjoy the hottest months of the year by swimming at a lakeshore, hiking through unexplored local trails, or joining friends for a trip to the beach. Not to mention the picnics, barbeques, sunbathing, and stargazing to be had at national park sites close to home.

While our national parks welcome us year-round, for many people, the summertime has a feeling of nostalgia that draws them to the outdoors and to long-held family traditions. It’s the perfect time to visit national parks and to feel a sense of pride at the grandeur and scenic beauty found in our country. It’s also an opportunity to take part in the collective responsibility of ensuring that this beauty, as well as the stories, cultures, and histories told by national park sites, are protected for future generations. Protecting places that belong to the public and exist for all to enjoy is a great way to show our national pride and patriotism.

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the National Park Foundation invests in some of the country’s most patriotic places, preserving the legacy of founding figures and fallen heroes and ensuring that young people can learn about the country’s history firsthand.

Modernizing the Washington Monument

Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin at sunrise with the Washington Monument
Blake Wilton / Share the Experience Photo Contest

We’re helping modernize the Washington Monument elevator. Funds will also support the construction of a permanent screening facility at the entrance of the landmark. The National Park Foundation is proud to help restore one of the nation’s most iconic monuments and one that honors the legacy of our first president.

Improving the Visitor Experience at The Lincoln Memorial

Night-time close up view of the Lincoln Memorial
Randy Wiberg / Share the Experience Photo Contest

The Lincoln Memorial serves as a tribute to the 16th president of the United States, remembered as the “Great Emancipator” for his role in passing the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery. A project is currently underway which will replace the roof and repair the masonry of the exterior of the exhibit and visitor service areas. The project will also improve visitor flow and queuing, address bookstore and restroom needs, install an additional elevator, and make other enhancements to the visitor experience.

Renovating Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument

Interior view of the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument
National Park Service

Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument was designated as part of the National Park System in 2016. It is one of the oldest residential buildings in the District of Columbia and once served as the headquarters for the movement for women’s rights, led by the National Woman’s Party. Its namesake, Alice Paul, helped shepherd passage of the 19th Amendment. National Park Foundation funding is helping to restore the house, including upgrades to the historic stained glass, improvements to fire protection and heating and cooling systems, and other interior and exterior repairs.

Restoration of Little Round Top

Sun rays shine over the monument to Brigadier General Warren in Gettysburg National Military Park.
Bill Johnson / Share the Experience Photo Contest

Gettysburg National Military Park’s received funding from the National Park Foundation for the restoration of the Little Round Top Visitor Use area, one of the most visited spots at the Gettysburg battlefield. The site commemorates a pivotal battle in the Civil War and one that would mark a turning point for the Union Army. The project will involve roadwork, slope stabilization, erosion control, grading, seeding, plantings, and installation of retaining walls, trails, sidewalks, ramps, stairs, and interpretive signs.

Construction Continues at Flight 93 National Memorial

Deep blue sky offsets a dangling metal chime tube with waving metal sail at the bottom.
NPS Photo / Brenda T. Schwartz

The National Park Foundation has raised and granted over $5 million to support the construction of the Tower of Voices at Flight 93 National Memorial. The tower is a ninety-three-foot-tall structure that will hold forty wind chimes, representing the forty passengers and crew members that lost their lives aboard United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001.

Southeast Conservation Corps Rehabilitate “Old Natchez Trace”

Winding road through green trees on the Natchez Trace Parkway
National Park Service

Conservation and service corps provide a powerful opportunity for young adults to develop skills while tackling crucial maintenance projects at national parks. In the fall of 2018, the Southeast Conservation Corps deployed a crew of six AmeriCorps members at Natchez Trace Parkway. Crew members were tasked with rehabilitating sections of Old Natchez Trace, a 442-mile historic parkway that served as an important travel corridor between multiple states in the 18th century. The team maintained 10 miles of a historical trail once used by Native Americans, European explorers, post riders, presidents and more. The crew brushed overgrown sections of the trail, installed drainage points along the way, and did other maintenance projects that will help to preserve the trail for future visitors.

Students Learn About the Life of Lyndon B. Johnson First-Hand

View of LBJ Ranch in the springtime
National Park Service

The National Park Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids program provides field trip grants to schools so that students can have immersive learning experiences in the ideal outdoor classroom – our national parks. In 2019, a National Park Foundation grant funded a 6-day program at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. Over one thousand fourth graders traveled to Texas Hill Country to learn about Texas frontier life. Students explored, played games, and took historical tours on topics like cowboy history, Buffalo Soldiers, Native Americans, and the life and legacy of the 36th president of the United States.

Help ensure that pivotal moments in American history live on for future generations by donating today.


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