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Women's History in National Parks

Every park has a connection to women. NPF is committed to helping the National Park Service preserve and share more of the extraordinary and everyday lives of women in the United States, through the lens of national parks.
Support Women in Parks Grants
  • Telling a Broader History
    National parks across the country preserve and share stories of visionary women, trailblazers who dared to imagine a different future. We continue to unearth new stories, contributing to our collective history.
  • Then, Now, and Beyond
    With over 400 national parks across the country, there is a wide variety of women's stories to tell. NPF is dedicated to supporting, uncovering, and amplifying these stories in parks, as well as championing the women in our parks today.
  • NPF's Commitment
    NPF helps elevate and preserve women's history through our Women in Parks program and across various NPF programs, including service corps, internships, fellowships, and more.

Women's Stories in Our National Parks

It's hard to imagine what America would be like today without the contributions of tough, uncompromising women such as Maggie L. Walker or Clara Barton. For everyone traveling to national parks in search of fascinating tales about pivotal historical figures, there are quite a few places where you can learn about the women who helped shape our American history, as well as those who continue to envision our future.

Every national park has a connection to women. Some parks are dedicated to the life and legacy of one particular figure or group of individuals, such as Harriet Tubman National Historical Park or Freedom Riders National Monument. These places focus on the stories and impact of those who shaped our nation, including the women who dared to imagine a different future. Memorials serve as a reminder of those we've lost as well as the legacy of unsung sacrifices of countless others. Parks known for their landscapes and scenic vistas, such as Biscayne National Park or Cape Hatteras National Seashore, continue to depend upon the work of women to study and conserve these treasured places so they are enjoyed by future generations.

For over 100 years, our national parks have reflected not only our history, but also our present and future. NPF's work supporting history and culture programs and projects helps increase access to places, cultural resources, and stories that help all people gain a deeper understanding of parks as our common ground and shared inheritance. Women's narratives have - and continue to - shape the history of the United States, from the extraordinary to the everyday, and play a pivotal role in telling the story of our national parks.

NPF's Work in This Space

NPF supports national parks, programs, and projects that highlight the stories of women who made history and those who continue to shape our future.

  • High overhead shot of paddlers in a canal on a sunny summer day
    Women in Parks
    Producing Educational Materials
    A 2021 NPF Women in Parks grant helped produce a video program highlighting the women who traversed the Erie Canal to attend suffrage rallies in Seneca Falls.
  • Stairs leading up to the Memorial Garden at Cesar E Chavez National Monument
    Women in Parks
    Funding New Research Projects
    Thanks to an NPF Women in Parks grant, César E. Chávez National Monument was able to undertake a research project to develop future in-park programs highlighting women's contributions to the labor movement.
  • Stone steps leading up to a domed structure
    Women in Parks
    Developing Programs
    An NPF Women in Parks grant helped bring new program to life at Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument. The program will research and develop educational materials on the life of Carrie A. Tuggle, a prominent civil rights activist.
  • The Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument house’s entryway with stunning gold frames
    Project
    Restoring Belmont-Paul
    Thanks to NPF support, including the generous gift from philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument was able to fund critical repairs and restoration efforts when the park was first designated in 2016.
  • typewriter and phone on a desk
    Program
    National Park Service Mellon Humanities Fellowships
    Established in 2019, NPF's Mellon Humanities Fellowship program supports the work of a collection of humanities scholars whose research and analysis of the complex and fascinating histories in and around our parks helps us discover untold perspectives and new voices.
  • A person holds a bundle of nets on sticks, standing on an elevated wooden walkway
    Survey Says
    National Online Survey
    To commemorate the centennial of the 19th amendment, NPF released the findings of a new study showing Americans wish they new more about U.S. women's history. In the survey, 74% of respondents indicated it is extremely or very important that national parks connect people to history.
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How You Can Help

By donating to the National Park Foundation, you support programs like these that help ensure that iconic species have the best chance of survival across their native environments, and that the lands and waters set aside within the National Park System remain an abundant resource, promoting ecological diversity throughout our parks.

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