Throughout our celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Parkway, we have retold many stories of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. donating land and money to conservation, specifically within the park service. However, large donations of money are only good when they have a purpose and meaning behind them. JDR, Jr. had an eye for how he could make his money work, both for himself and for the greater public.
In 1924 he and his family toured many western parks. He was especially impressed with the museums and the rangers that interpreted the landscape for all ages of visitors. He saw this as a way for people to connect with nature, understand it, and hopefully want to protect it.
Mr. Rockefeller's vision of protected places included areas for recreation, contemplation, and inspiration. Here in Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway we are so grateful for his vision, generosity, and belief in our mission.
Ribbon cutting ceremoney dedicating the
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway -
Laurance S. Rockefeller at center, wife Mary on his right
At the dedication ceremony for the park service unit named for his father, Laurance S. Rockefeller remembered him with these words:
"Father's greatest gift was not his generous donation of land, but rather his vision that people could live in harmony with nature."