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Bringing together the Park Partner community

National Park Friends Alliance

Arches National Park
NPS Photo / Chris Wonderly

The Friends Alliance is an informal union of philanthropic park partners and park officials that meet several times a year to share best practices and advance park partnerships. The Alliance convened its first meeting in 1994 with a small group of philanthropic park partner (or “Friends Group”) executives to share stories and learn from one another. Since its inception, the Alliance has grown exponentially and evolved into a peer-to-peer learning, collaborative network for park partners.

How We Help

The Friends Alliance is currently led by a contracted executive director who reports to a steering committee elected by the network and convenings are held bi-annually. Over 200+ participants attend these meetings, which provide opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, National Park Service leadership updates, and strategic discussions between philanthropic partners, park officials, and other park allies.

As part of the National Park Foundation’s efforts to elevate park partners and increase philanthropic capacity, the Foundation provides technical, financial, and administrative resources to support the strategic growth of the Friends Alliance.

Upcoming Meetings

Spring 2023

Join the National Park Friends Alliance, National Park Foundation, and the National Park Service, for the Spring 2023 Virtual Friends Alliance Meeting that will take place via Zoom from noon to 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 13, 2023. The day includes plenary and breakout sessions and some small-group discussions. Registration has now closed, but we look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

Fall 2023

Join the National Park Friends Alliance, National Park Foundation, and the National Park Service, for the Fall 2023 Friends Alliance Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio on October 23-25, 2023. Learn more about the location in this short video from our hosts, the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, with more details to come as the dates approach.

Steering Committee Members
  • Frank Dean, Yosemite Conservancy (Co-Chair)
  • Deb Yandala, Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Co-Chair)
  • Vickie Mates, Team Mates Ventures, LLC (Contracted Executive Director)
  • Bess Mitchell Averett, Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign
  • Elizabeth Fien, Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
  • Ryan McClure, Gateway Arch Park Foundation
  • Doug Mitchell, Glacier National Park Conservancy
  • Estee Rivera Murdock, Rocky Mountain Conservancy
  • Reggie Chapple, National Park Service Liaison
  • Will Shafroth, National Park Foundation Liaison
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Community Partnerships at NPF

Learn more about NPF's work with park partner organizations, some of the most active advocates for our national parks.

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