National Parks capture the most beautiful, wild and celebrated outdoor spaces in our country. But the National Park Service is made up of 417 park units spanning over 84,000,000 acres in size across the country. That’s a lot of ground to cover, and we think the parks can benefit from our help. That’s why we donate 50% of our profits to our partners that help protect them. If you want to get more involved, here are 5 ways you can make an impact today and keep our parks protected for generations to come:
Your donation to a National Park or a park nonprofit makes sure our parks get the love they need. Check out our Partner page to see which nonprofits we support and consider donating to them directly. You can also research other park nonprofits on Charity Navigator to make sure your donation is making an impact.
The perk of donating your time is you get an excuse to spend a day in your favorite National Park with other park enthusiasts. Volunteers often maintain trails, help restore ecological health through native plantings or invasive species removal, or answer visitors’ questions about the park. Volunteering is essential — only 22,000 employees work in the NPS, but over 340,000 people volunteer every year.
Check out current NPS volunteer opportunities here by selecting “National Park Service” as the agency in the Volunteer Opportunities search engine, then contacting the volunteer office to get involved. You can also contact your closest National Park’s conservancy or nonprofit organization, such as the Yosemite Conservancy or the Rocky Mountain Conservancy.
3. Show Your Support
Start conversations with others about why you love the parks and help to protect them. Ask your trail friends to volunteer with you or submit a comment to the NPS about their proposed park projects. Even actions as simple as getting to know park rangers and supporting park events and fundraisers make a big difference for protecting National Parks.
4. Plan A Visit
Introduce new friends to the parks by organizing a day hike, talking to park rangers and other visitors, taking photographs, and seeing what your closest park has to offer. Remember to pack out what you pack in, and try to pick up any trash you see along the way. Take only photographs and leave only footprints. Your friend will have a newfound appreciation for the parks — and you’ll make a new trail friend along the way!
5. Call Your Representative
Let your elected officials know how important the National Parks are to you and ask them to support legislation that supports the parks. You can also ask them what actions they have taken recently to support the parks. Take the time to make a phone call or send a letter or email — your voice matters! Here’s where you can find contact information for your representatives in the House and Senate.
No matter how you take action, you have the ability to make a difference for our parks. By donating your time, money, or introducing a new friend to the parks, you’re giving back to these beautiful places that have given us all so much — and that’s something to feel good about.