WASHINGTON – Will Shafroth, National Park Foundation President and CEO, testified in front of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks regarding the power of leveraging private philanthropy with federal funds to protect parks and improve the visitor experience. The Subcommittee held a hearing to discuss 14 bills, including the bipartisan National Park Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2022 (S. 4168), introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Angus King (I-ME), and Steve Daines (R-MT). The bill now advancing in the Senate follows House passage of the bill (H.R. 7693) in July by a vote of 397-22.
The National Park Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2022 seeks to raise the Foundation’s annual appropriation level from $5 million to $15 million through 2030. Coupling this increase with the required dollar-to-dollar match of philanthropic funding — in line with the National Park Service Centennial Act — significantly boosts the impact of private, philanthropic donations to national park projects made through NPF projects and programs.
“This vital legislation would enable NPF to leverage federal funding to increase private philanthropy directed toward priority projects with the National Park Service,” said Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “Increasing the Foundation’s appropriation to $15 million would advance NPF’s work with the National Park Service to improve and rehabilitate trails, visitor centers, and other facilities; to expand youth access and engagement via public lands service corps, and to conserve and improve the resiliency of park landscapes.”
Leveraging federal funds to encourage and increase philanthropic support is critical to addressing deferred maintenance projects, supporting NPS staff, and tackling other issues as national park sites continue to see record visitation.
You may watch a recording of the hearing here. Learn more about the positive impact the National Park Foundation and partners are making for parks and local communities across the country at www.nationalparks.org.
About the National Park Foundation
The National Park Foundation works to protect wildlife and park lands, preserve history and culture, educate, and engage youth, and connect people everywhere to the wonder of parks. We do it in collaboration with the National Park Service, the park partner community, and with the generous support of donors, without whom our work would not be possible. Learn more at nationalparks.org.