Environment

Five Ways You Can Help Out Our National Parks Today

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Being able to preserve America’s natural beauty and vast heritage doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen without help. The National Park Foundation, the official charitable partner of the National Park Service, safeguards parks for future generations—all of which is made possible through the passionate and tireless community of park supporters.

While making a financial donation is one the most effective ways to support the parks, there are so many different ways that you can give back to preserve and protect the more than 400 national parks across the country and important community-based assistance programs. For this #GivingTuesday, here are some ways you can help:

1. FIND A LOCAL FRIENDS GROUP

There are more than 200 Friends Groups in the U.S. that join forces with national parks to facilitate all kinds of beneficial projects and programs. These are organizations of like-minded people who come together to support a specific park and help with things from restoration projects to simply hosting a special event. Find your local park and learn how you can support it through Friends Groups.

Hopewell Culture National Historical Monument

2. BRING A FRIEND

If you love visiting national parks, chances are that you talk about them every chance you can. Instead of just raving about them to all who will listen, plan a special adventure to introduce a new park to a friend. Help create an experience that shows them why these places are so incredible, and inspire them to find their park and pay it forward to another friend.

3. GIVE YOUR TIME

Your time is as valuable as writing a check. National parks rely on volunteers for everything from cleanup efforts to artist-in-residence programs. Volunteering opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, and they also provide you with the chance to become active in the parks themselves.

George Washington Carver National Monument

4. SUPPORT COOPERATING ORGANIZATIONS

Sometimes important park services are carried out not by the NPS, but by cooperating associations. Services such as operating bookstores and developing park-related publications. For example, Great Smoky Mountains National Park bookstore is run by the independent Great Smoky Mountains Association. The park is supported by the sales of its publications. Sign up for a membership or make a purchase when you visit a park; it goes a long way.

5. COME SAY HI

The best way to support a park is to visit it, plain and simple. What could be a better return on your investment than to experience your supported park first-hand? Find your nearest park, whether it’s one with an entrance fee (which uses the revenue to keep the park running) or one of the more than 200 fee-free parks.

Natural Bridges National Monument

Last but not least, for this #GivingTuesday, good old-fashioned financial support makes a significant impact to the health and prosperity of our national parks and NPF programs. Donations of any amount fund countless projects and improvements to our nation’s irreplaceable landscapes and historical sites. While one-time donations are wonderful, if you want to get creative, you can join or renew your membership to NPF, donate to a national park in honor of a loved one or support parks all year long by scheduling a monthly gift.

If America’s landscapes and heritage are important to you, connect with the National Park Foundation today to learn more about how you can support its mission to preserve America’s national parks and programs. Have a Happy #GivingTuesday!