As 2021 winds down and we prepare to welcome 2022, the National Park Foundation (NPF) is recognizing the many ways that corporate partners have supported NPF’s mission throughout the year. With more than 400 national parks in the National Park System, NPF depends upon the commitment and generosity of private philanthropy to help keep parks accessible, relevant, sustainable, and resilient. Generous gifts to NPF help protect these national treasures, enhance the visitor experience, connect people everywhere to parks, and support innovative projects and programs that will take national parks into the future.
Here are a few examples of the projects and programs that NPF’s corporate partners helped support in national parks this past year:
NPF depends upon the commitment and generosity of private philanthropy to help keep parks accessible, relevant, sustainable, and resilient.”
Connecting Kids to Parks as Classrooms
The National Park Foundation awarded 32 grants to national parks through Open OutDoors for Kids Hybrid Learning, an extension of the Open OutDoors for Kids (OOK) program, which creates pathways for kids to enjoy, understand and connect with nature and cultural heritage in meaningful ways through outdoor activities and experiential learning. While OOK has historically focused on in-park programming, the hybrid learning grants recognized the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and supported parks along a spectrum of capabilities, from those who were brand new to distance learning to those seeking to scale-up existing hybrid programming. Hybrid design and a holistic approach to distance learning, which includes non-internet and internet-based elements, are among the most critical aspects of the program. Tools and program design developed during the past year will continue beyond the pandemic.
Restoring Parks and Providing On-the-Job Training
Since 2018, NPF has invested more than $11 million to support more than 130 service corps crews, helping to bring people of different ages, backgrounds, identities, and abilities together to accomplish critical projects in national parks. From April 2020 to March 2021, NPF-supported service corps crews, comprised of more than 300 service corps members, contributed nearly 60,000 hours of service at more than 50 national park sites, including the restoration of over 900 acres of natural habitat, the removal of more than 40,000 pounds of trash and litter, and the planting of over 30,000 trees and plants. These service corps programs also provide on-the-job training for members and help inspire belonging, enabling people to build camaraderie, gain new skills, and learn about public lands careers.
Keeping Parks Green
The National Park Foundation and our corporate partners are also helping to make these national treasures more resilient and sustainable for the benefit of parks and people. This past year, NPF provided funding for the installation of more than 40 water refill stations in parks across the country, renewable and alternative energy projects to enhance infrastructure resiliency, as well as recycling and waste reduction efforts to improve sustainability within national parks.
Protecting Vital Ecosystems
Through critical wetland restoration efforts, such as providing funding for the restoration of approximately 500 acres of the saline glades region at Everglades National Park in Florida, NPF and our corporate partners are supporting efforts to restore and protect some of the most biologically diverse landscapes in the country, helping to keep these pristine environments healthy and more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
The National Park Foundation would like to acknowledge and thank the following partners for supporting our mission to protect and enhance America’s national parks for present and future generations: Carhartt, EVOLVE Plant-Based Protein, GoGo squeeZ, Kinder Joy, L.L.Bean, Nature Valley, Publix, REI Co-op, Stericycle, Subaru of America, Sun Outdoors, The Coca-Cola Company, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Tupperware Brands, Union Pacific Railroad, and Winnebago Industries.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation works to protect wildlife and park lands, preserve history and culture, educate and engage youth, and connect people everywhere to the wonder of parks. We do it in collaboration with the National Park Service, the park partner community, and with the generous support of donors, without whom our work would not be possible. Learn more at nationalparks.org.
SOURCE National Park Foundation
Rod Washington: Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He also produces news and documentary video projects. Check out his podcast StoriesThisMoment at https://m3e.d71.myftpupload.com/stm-tncn-podcasts/