Partnerships with individuals, philanthropists, businesses and corporations has been essential to the creation and growth of America's national park system; some of the earliest NPS partnerships involved transportation. For example, the railroads played an important role in opening up some of our first national parks, and widely promoting those parks to the public.
Partnerships continue today as an effective means of fulfilling the mission of the National Park Service. Partners involve gateway communities, transportation firms, foundations, and many more who can share in the stewardship of the Parks.
The National Park Service's transportation program has developed a separate handbook for building partnerships between parks and surrounding communities. "The National Park Service Transportation Planning Guidebook" outlines steps in identifying potential partners; tools and approaches that can be used to successfully organize and formalize the role of partners; and how to build a "win win" partnership.
As Brian O'Neill, former Superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area pointed out, "Every time we do it ourselves, we miss out on an opportunity for community engagement."
Click here to learn more about partners and the National Park Service, including a series of case studies.