Parks of the Future

 

Embracing a Second Century of Parks

The National Park Service (NPS) preserves natural and cultural resources in more than 400 national parks across the country for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of all. Not surprisingly, parks are extraordinarily popular with Americans and a growing number of people from around the world. In the years ahead, park visitation is projected to increase and be highly concentrated in a relatively few national parks.

As visitation increases, especially at well-known, scenic parks in the west, the National Park Foundation (NPF) and its partners are harnessing the power of technology and innovation to help NPS plan for the needs of parks and park visitors in the future, while remaining focused on protecting the stunning natural landscapes.

We are expanding the ways people can experience parks, using emerging digital technology to bring parks to people, investing in new and upgraded visitor centers, modernizing campgrounds, and introducing park visitors to lesser-known parks in order to reduce the impact of increased visitation on NPS operations while protecting these pristine natural environments.

Program Highlights

A dry, grassy plain slopes downwards toward the visitor center at Little Bighorn Battlefield Nationa

Improving the Visitor Experience

A 2020 partnership between NPF, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, NPS, and Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield will support the building of a new, modernized visitor center at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana. Once completed, the visitor center will improve interpretative and educational programming, as well as honor the longstanding relationship among NPS and tribes historically associated with the site.

a visitor on a kayak sits on a still river. The river bends into the distance

Protecting Our Rivers & Trails

The Wild & Scenic Rivers System includes thousands of trails stretching across the U.S. and more than 12,000 miles of protected rivers. In 2018, in celebration of its 50th anniversary, NPF announced its support of 20 projects to enhance the country’s national trails and wild and scenic rivers, as well as provide increased public access. 

Mist crawls over a crystal river, bordered by trees, sparkles in the early sunlight. Two birds fly o

Investing in Accessibility

NPF is working to make national parks more accessible to people of varying abilities by supporting renovations to visitor centers, exhibits, parking lots, trails, and restrooms.

A cannon is dark against a pink and purple sunset

Expanding Vicksburg National Military Park

A donation of 800 acres of farmland at Vicksburg National Military Park will help preserve the sites of three historic Civil War battles. The new land, donated with the support of NPF, will increase visitor access to recreational opportunities like hiking and wildlife viewing in the park, as well as allow the building of new parking lots and pull-off areas to enhance visitor safety.

Cherry blossom trees flowers frame the Washington Monument across the water in the Tidal Basin

Enhancing Monuments on the National Mall

Thanks to the generous contributions from philanthropist David Rubenstein, NPF is making monuments on the National Mall shine like never before. In 2019, thanks to contributions to NPF from Rubenstein and Musco Lighting, the Washington Monument reopened to visitors with updated lighting and refurbished elevator system. In 2020, NPF announced Rubenstein's donation of $10 million to create a state-of-the-art museum and enhanced visitor experience at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

Parks of the Future Partners

Our Parks of the Future partners support programs to expand the ways people can experience parks to help NPS plan for the needs of parks and park visitors in the future.

PREMIER

Subaru Logo

The National Park Foundation is proud to recognize Subaru as our largest corporate partner, providing over $35 million in support since 2013. Subaru made the National Park Foundation an early partner of the Subaru Share the Love Event, became the sole automotive partner of the Find Your Park / Encuentra tu Parque campaign, and shared zero-landfill expertise through the Don’t Feed the Landfills initiative – helping parks eliminate over 16 million pounds of waste. Learn more about Subaru by clicking here.