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A Renewed Commitment to America’s National Parks

As the nation gathers on this winter day to witness the 59th presidential inauguration, I am reminded of the promise of spring and the constant renewal of American Democracy.

Just as our Founders envisioned, the peaceful transfer of power every four years, regardless of which party or individual assumes the mantle of leadership, marks a solemn commitment to begin again the experiment in self-government first undertaken nearly 250 years ago.

For more than 50 years the National Park Foundation has worked with every Presidential administration, every Congress and every National Park Service director to protect and enhance America’s beloved places and to help make it possible for all people to experience the natural beauty, history and culture that we share.

The events of the last year have challenged our health, our sense of wellbeing and, at times, our confidence in our institutions. Despite it all, Americans have persevered, many gaining a greater appreciation for the wonder that parks inspire and just how much we truly need these great places. In this time, I am reminded of my gratitude for our national parks and for the important work of the National Park Foundation and the park partner community to support these national treasures.

These incredible natural landscapes and cultural landmarks reveal the ever-evolving story of who we are—our heritage and our history, our triumphs and our struggles. National parks reflect our nation’s journey, and they inspire where we will go next.

The National Park Foundation looks forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration and the new Congress, committed anew to the Foundation’s enduring mission to protect the landscapes and historic sites that comprise our American story and to ensure that all people are able to see themselves in national parks and feel welcome in these places that belong to all of us.

Will Shafroth