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National Park Foundation Kicks Off 50th Year of Supporting the National Park System


WASHINGTON — Countless individuals, beloved trails and landscapes, historic buildings, and treasured artifacts have benefited from the tireless efforts of the National Park Foundation since December 18, 1967

Established by congressional charter, the National Park Foundation has invested more than $700 million in priority projects across the National Park System to date. As the official nonprofit partner to the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation brings together individuals, foundations, and companies in support of America’s natural, cultural, and historical sites.

“At 50, proud to report that we’re hitting our stride. Extending beyond one park, the National Park Foundation raises money and establishes innovative partnerships to benefit National Park Service sites and programs coast to coast and on the islands too,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “The community of national park supporters is stronger than ever and growing bigger every single day.”

Throughout the upcoming year, the National Park Foundation and parks community will highlight the organization’s impact using #WeAreParks on social media. Examples include:

  • Inspiring people to discover lesser-known experiences across the National Park System and explore their unique connections to parks and programs, by powering and amplifying the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement;
  • Restoring beloved trails like Middle Emerald Pools at Zion National Park and repairing crucial infrastructure like the elevator at the Washington Monument;
  • Expanding recreational opportunities at places like Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area;
  • Funding collaborations among parks, programs, and community partners for unique activities for people of all ages, like night sky programs at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and Mammoth Cave National Park;
  • Facilitating significant donations for new national parks like Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and Pullman National Monument;
  • Collaborating with other national nonprofits, including World Wildlife Fund, Defenders of Wildlife, and The Nature Conservancy to protect bison at Badlands National Park with Badlands Natural History Association;
  • Empowering the next generation of park leaders together with community partners through programs like Summit Seekers with Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Outdoor Afro, Groundwork USA, Latino Outdoors, and Student Conservation Association;
  • Working with members of Congress to pass legislation such as the National Park Service Centennial Act to build a more holistic funding model for our national parks over the long term;
  • Partnering with companies to support a variety of innovative programs, like veterans outreach and field trip grants; and
  • Joining forces with local philanthropic organizations (many known as friends groups) to address priority park projects, like preserving a 640-acre tract of land within Grand Teton National Park with the Grand Teton National Park Foundation, restoration projects at Antietam National Battlefield with the Civil War Trust and the Save Historic Antietam Foundation, and constructing the Tower of Voices at Flight 93 National Memorial with the Families and Friends of Flight 93.

For more information about the National Park Foundation’s 50th anniversary, read the National Park Foundation’s blog.

Celebrating 50 years, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and ENGAGE the next generation of park stewards. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at