For more than 100 years, private philanthropy has been helping to improve, preserve and protect America's National Parks. For over forty years, and without federal appropriations, the National Park Foundation, chartered by Congress as the only national charitable partner of America's National Parks, has sustained this legacy of private philanthropy.
In 1967, with support from Lady Bird Johnson and an initial $1 million contribution from Laurance Rockefeller, the National Park Foundation was established to strengthen the connection between the American people and their National Parks by raising private funds, making strategic grants, creating innovative partnerships and increasing public awareness.
Throughout its history the National Park Foundation as helped in many significant ways including:
- Protecting fragile ecosystems and wildlife habitats through conservation programs
- Securing tens of thousands of acres of parkland for new parks and existing parks
- Supporting trail restoration across the country with programs like Active Trails.
- Founding the national Parks as Classrooms program and supporting other youth programs like America's Best Idea Grants, Electronic Field Trip, Junior Rangers, Parks Climate Challenge, and WebRangers
- Preserving our African American History in the national parks
- Leading the fundraising effort for the Flight 93 Memorial
- Creating unique opportunities for teachers and education professionals to use the parks as teaching tools with programs like PARK Teachers and Park Stewards
- Uniting public and private interests in support of our national parks
- Restoring the Washington Monument
- Creating national volunteer and service to the land programs
As we approach the national park centennial in 2016, the Foundation is working with the National Park Service to ensure that our parks are prepared for their next 100 years.
To learn more about the National Park Foundation, read our congressional charter or tour our site that helped to establish and transform America's National Parks.